8. Chapel and Promontory fort,
Isle of Whithorn
NX 479362

Follow the signs to St Ninian's Chapel from the car park at the end of the harbour. The fort is on the headland beyond.

Pic of Chapel ruin

The heavily restored 14th century chapel to St Ninian stands on the rocky shore above a natural landing place. It was used by seaborne pilgrims visiting Ninian's shrine at Whithorn. Excavation revealed traces of an earlier, 12th century chapel. The striking location of the chapel suggests it may have a Dark Age origin but no firm evidence to support this has yet been found.

Cutting across the headland at the entrance to the harbour are the remains of three massive ditched banks. The date of this impressive promontory fort is unknown. It was probably built during the late prehistoric period, one of many forts along this stretch of coast. But it is likely to have been re-used during the Dark Ages to guard the Isle and to control Whithorn's thriving continental trade.

The chapel is in the care of Historic Scotland.

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