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Refuge Stone, 300m WNW of Westfield Farm, Westfield

A Scheduled Monument in Armadale and Blackridge, West Lothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.9304 / 55°55'49"N

Longitude: -3.6923 / 3°41'32"W

OS Eastings: 294365

OS Northings: 672109

OS Grid: NS943721

Mapcode National: GBR 1N.ZBHB

Mapcode Global: WH5RF.860H

Entry Name: Refuge Stone, 300m WNW of Westfield Farm, Westfield

Scheduled Date: 30 September 1997

Last Amended: 5 October 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7280

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: refuge stone

Location: Torphichen

County: West Lothian

Electoral Ward: Armadale and Blackridge

Traditional County: West Lothian

Description

The monument consists of a sandstone boulder, known as the Refuge Stone, and associated field banks, situated in scrub land on a small hillock. It is being rescheduled in order to extend the scheduled area to include the associated field banks, which were unrecognised at the time of the original scheduling.

The sandstone boulder is one of the five 'refuge stones' marking the boundary of the sanctuary associated with Torphichen Preceptory, founded by the Knights Hospitallers or Knights of St. John in the 12th century.

The stone is of undressed sandstone, roughly oblong and measures about 1.6m in height. It marked the westernmost point of the sanctuary. Recent excavations in advance of conservation works revealed that the stone was set over a stone structure of unknown, but clearly earlier date. Field survey has further demonstrated that it was set at the intersection of two field banks.

The first, aligned approximately NNW-SSE, measures some 50m long by some 2m wide and stands to about 0.3m high. The second field bank is less substantial, measuring about 8m long and aligned roughly NNE-SSW. The field system of which they were a part has been truncated to the N and E by modern cultivation, and to the S and W by quarrying.

It appears, therefore, that this 'island of preservation' contains a sequence of structures associated with the delineation of land boundaries before and during the medieval period, and quite possibly defining the area of refuge itself.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is irregular in shape, measuring 110m from its easternmost point to its westernmost point and 100m from its northernmost point to its southernmost point.

It is bounded on the E and NE by a fence, which is itself excluded from the present rescheduling. The area is marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it marks the westernmost point of the sanctuary which included and surrounded Torphichen Preceptory. This was the only house of the Knights Hospitallers or Knights of St. John founded in Scotland and as such holds an important place in their history and also in the history of the surrounding area. The stone is one of five originally marking the boundaries of the sanctuary.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NS 97 SE 12.

References:

RCAHMS, Midlothian & West Lothian (1929), 241, No. 389.

Name Book (County) Book No. 55, 7.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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