Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Easter Gormyre, refuge stone, 475m ENE of

A Scheduled Monument in Armadale and Blackridge, West Lothian

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Latitude: 55.9402 / 55°56'24"N

Longitude: -3.6335 / 3°38'0"W

OS Eastings: 298065

OS Northings: 673114

OS Grid: NS980731

Mapcode National: GBR 1Q.YRPW

Mapcode Global: WH5R8.5Y0J

Entry Name: Easter Gormyre, refuge stone, 475m ENE of

Scheduled Date: 30 September 1997

Last Amended: 10 February 2005

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7279

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: refuge stone

Location: Torphichen

County: West Lothian

Electoral Ward: Armadale and Blackridge

Traditional County: West Lothian


The monument consists of a quadrilateral upright boulder standing in arable land ENE of Easter Gormyre Farm. The monument was first scheduled in 1997 but the dimensions of the scheduled area indicated on the map were incorrect. The present scheduling rectifies this.

It is one of the five refuge stones marking the boundary or 'girth' of the sanctuary associated with Torphichen Preceptory, founded by the Knights Hospitallers or Knights of St John in the 12th century. Torphichen Preceptory, as with many other ecclesiastical establishments, was granted the right to offer sanctuary to fugitives by charter.

The stone is of red gritstone, roughly oblong and measuring about 1.2m high by 0.8m by 0.6m. It marked the northernmost point of the sanctuary; the other four stones marking the centre (in the graveyard adjacent to the Preceptory itself), the southern, eastern and western points. The four stones marking the boundaries are traditionally thought to be 1 Scots mile from the centre stone. although this is not the exact ground measurement.

Four of the five stones are being scheduled, the southern stone, thought to be near North Couston Farm, was unfortunately broken up some time ago. The area to be scheduled consists of the stone itself and an area of ground around it measuring 3m in diameter, situated at the point indicated in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it marks the northernmost 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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NS97SE12.



Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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