Ancient Monuments

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Soutra Aisle, burial aisle and part of site of medieval hospital

A Scheduled Monument in Midlothian East, Midlothian

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Latitude: 55.8161 / 55°48'57"N

Longitude: -2.8742 / 2°52'27"W

OS Eastings: 345314

OS Northings: 658436

OS Grid: NT453584

Mapcode National: GBR 81C5.JY

Mapcode Global: WH7VN.T2HN

Entry Name: Soutra Aisle, burial aisle and part of site of medieval hospital

Scheduled Date: 21 October 1971

Last Amended: 3 June 1999

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3067

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: hospital/hospice

Location: Fala and Soutra

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian East

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument comprises most of the remains of a medieval hospital including a rebuilt portion of the associated church. The latter is already scheduled, but the scheduled area is to be expanded to include the remains of the hospital.

Soutra Hospital is said to have been founded by Malcolm IV in 1164, but it is possible that the foundation predates Malcolm. By 1236 the house was observing the Augustinian Rule and it was described as a house or hospital of the Holy Trinity. References to the continued use of the hospital can be found as late as 1584. The only building above ground is a section of the Order's church, rebuilt in 1686 as a barrel vaulted burial aisle for the Pringle family (a date stone over the door has the initials DP and AP). It is built with stone from the church and incorporates several fragments of moulded stone, including a small window in the west gable. It measures 7.7m N-S by 7.2m externally.

A resistivity survey of the top of Soutra Hill in 1986, supported by trial excavation in the following year, identified the likely boundaries of the hospital area. There are at least 2 contiguous, large, rectangular, walled enclosures. These are on the top of the level area around the aisle and to the east of the Roman Road, Dere Street, which continued as the main N-S road throughout the Middle Ages). The southern court encloses the church and some domestic and hospital buildings. The hospital may have had an outer vallum or boundary within which are likely to be the remains of ancillary buildings, hospital gardens and middens. Beyond this outer boundary are likely to be the remains of burials, and occasional finds indicate these may be concentrated in the south. Recent excavations have provided interesting palaeobotanical information from one hospital building close to the site of the church.

The area now to be scheduled is marked in red on the map. It measures a maximum of 200m E-W by 360m N-S. The area contains remains of the medieval hospital, its church, buildings and associated remains, some of which have been identified by trial excavation and resistivity survey. It incorporates the earlier scheduled area. The area to be scheduled excludes the modern road to a depth of 0.5m (but includes the underlying land) and also excludes all fences. This scheduling is accompanied by a second scheduling which deals with the portion of the hospital remains lying within Midlothian.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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