Ancient Monuments

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Torphichen Preceptory, refuge stone at Torphichen Kirk

A Scheduled Monument in Armadale and Blackridge, West Lothian

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Latitude: 55.9345 / 55°56'4"N

Longitude: -3.6528 / 3°39'10"W

OS Eastings: 296841

OS Northings: 672503

OS Grid: NS968725

Mapcode National: GBR 1Q.Z1BK

Mapcode Global: WH5RF.V3QC

Entry Name: Torphichen Preceptory, refuge stone at Torphichen Kirk

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1981

Last Amended: 22 February 2005

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1903

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 is a square sandstone pillar standing within Torphichen churchyard. It is one of the five refuge stones marking the centre and boundary or 'girth' of the sanctuary associated with Torphichen Preceptory, founded by the Knights Hospitallers or Knights of St. John in the 12th century. The monument was first scheduled in 1935, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The stone measures about 0.8m high by 0.3m by 0.3m. There are 5 cup marks and a 17cm channel on the E face; on the top is a circular socket 5cm in diameter and 3cm deep, connected with a cross-shaped channel, 16cm over the arms. The latter features probably have no connections with the cup marks. The stone marks the centre of the sanctuary area and is located in the churchyard adjacent to Torphichen Preceptory.

The area to be scheduled consists of the stone itself and an area of ground around it measuring 2m in diameter, situated in the location indicated in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it marks the centre 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 NS97SE25.


Groome F H (ed.) (1901) ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND, Edinburgh, Vol. 5, 1573.

Morris R W B (1969) 'The cup-and-ring marks and similar sculptures in Scotland: a survey of the southern Counties, part II', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 100, 72, No. 189.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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