Whithorn Parish Church, Whithorn, is on
the western side of Main Street, just forty metres or so north of
Harbour Row on the Isle of Whithorn. It originally belonged to
Whitern Priory, which was founded here in 1153. Following the
Reformation the priory's chapel became a parish church (see below),
remaining so until 1822 when the present parish church was built
close by. After the 1929 United Free union, Whithorn parish church
gained the town's UF congregation.
St Ninian's Chapel at the centre of the
Isle of Whithorn was originally the chapel to Whitern Priory,
although it replaced an earlier building of the late 1100s. The
Reformation saw it created the parish church of Whithorn, and it
remained so until 1822, when a new church was built on the approach
road to the isle (see above). In 1898 it was repaired and partially
rebuilt by the marquess of Bute, but lack of attention during the
twentieth century saw it become the ruin it is today.
Glasserton Parish Church sits in a broad
churchyard at the southern end of a lane which leads off the A746
and A747 junction at Glasserton. The kirk (church) session of
Glasserton was united in 1618 with the parish of Kirk-Maiden-in-Fairnes
by the commissioner of Teinds. The original church, which sat within
the parish of Wigton and the synod of Galloway, belonged to Whitern
Priory. That old parish church was rebuilt into the beginnings of
what exists now in 1732.
The church was enlarged into its present form in
1837 when the north aisle and Gothic tower were added. On its west
gable is a good seventeenth century belfry, said to have come from
Kirkmaiden. Glasserton united with the parish of the Isle Whithorn
on 13 January 1946 to form Glasserton and Isle of Whithorn. Despite
the local union both churches continued in use. Whithorn's St
Ninian's Priory (see above) was linked with Glasserton and Isle of
Whithorn in 1990.
All photos on this page kindly contributed by
Douglas Law via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles'