Old Abbey School and Adjacent Buildings, Abbeymill Farm

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Old Abbey School and Adjacent Buildings
Other Name(s)
Abbeymill Farm
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NT 53327 74682
Location Type
HS Reference No


Compact group of 3 buildings, probably dating in essence from later 18th century, though parts may be older. All 2-storey, rubble built, evidence of harling. Red pantiled roofs. BUILDING (OLD SCHOOL): substantially ruinous, in 2 sections, sandstone rubble. CENTRAL BUILDING: originally probably 4 dwellings. Mostly squared rubble of conglomerate ("clinkstone", very friable). S BUILDING: in poor condition, 3-bay on front (S) elevation, 3 windows to 1st, door flanked by 2 windows to ground.

Croal, writing in 1873, states that the Village of Abbey was "....much diminished in extent in recent years" and mentions "...a long row of miserable thatched cot-houses" which had been recently condemned. The School is marked on the map of 1854, but is thought to have closed soon afterwards. A photograph taken before 1907 shows the western end already roofless, though with gable and walls largely intact. The original Abbey, of which no trace appears now remain, lay a short distance to the E. It was founded in 1178 as a priory and convent by Ada Countess of Northumberland, mother of Kings Malcolm IV and William. The Scots parliament met here on 7 July 1548 and agreed a treaty with France whereby the young Queen Mary would marry the French Dauphin. The Abbey was Cistercian and seals of 1245 and 1569 are extant - "Capituli Sante Marie de Hadintoun". It was probably abandoned around the end of the 16th century, and Daniel Defoe could note "...remains of an old Nunnery, not a stone of which has rested upon another within living memory". There is anecdotal evidence that the deep red stones incorporated irregularly in the structure may derive from the original Abbey. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Later 18th century, probably older sections

Category of Risk and Development History

Very Poor
Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
November 1992, August 1997, March 2003, 25/05/2011, 14/10/2014
Development History
November 1992: External inspection reveals the buildings to be suffering disrepair. Their owner lives in the nearby farmhouse. SCT understands that the owner is unwilling to sell and would not welcome approaches. 3 July 1998: The East Lothian Courier reports on the school's inclusion in the Buildings at Risk Bulletin. 20 July 1998: The Edinburgh Evening News similarly reports on the story. Local planners are quoted as saying that East Lothian Council would consider Compulsory Purchase, were an individual to express interest in taking on the buildings and renovating them. January 2002: Local planners are unaware of any change. March 2004: SCT understands that East Lothian Council would not consider Compulsory Purchase, contrary to earlier reports.
May 2011: External inspection finds no significant change from the previous site visit.
14 October 2014: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
9 October 2018: Local planners note Abbey Mill Farm, of which the former school and adjacent buildings forms part, are now being marketed for sale through agents Savills, for sale as a whole or in lots.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01620 827264


Current Availability
For Sale
Appointed Agents
Savills (as at Oct 2018)
Contact Agent (as at Oct 2018)
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
BARR original text : School/College/University to Residential, Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: School/College/University
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: Residential
Name of Owners
Unverified see FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Online Resources
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit