From the evidence of archaeology, can we determine whether Whithorn was more likely to have been founded as: a missionary centre, an Episcopal seat, or a monastery? What does archaeology tell us most clearly about this site?
The literary tradition, physical and linguistic archaeology of Whithorn all offer a tantalising vista on the primary purpose of one of Britain’s earliest ecclesiastical foundations. My aim in this essay will be to explore the Cult of St Ninian and Candida Casa through an empirical examination of the Whithorn site. This will include the wider evidences from the surrounding locations and place name dedications to St Ninian. Also a further analysis of the broader cultural and ecclesiastical influences drawn from Roman, Irish and Gaulish sources will assist in determining and understanding Whithorn’s original administrative witness to Christ crucified.
The Cult of St Ninian and the founding of Whithorn sits in a period of history that causes the enquirer a considerable measure of difficulty. The establishment of Whithorn as an ecclesiastical outpost beyond the frontier of Hadrian’s Wall raises numerous exciting questions about the early fifth century expansion of Christianity in the British Isles. Sitting as it does within the sub-Roman period of British history the new Christian faith introduced by the Roman gentry offered fertile ground for missional expansion for those inclined to brave life beyond the northern borders.
Bede writing in 731 records the Whithorn founder as, ‘Bishop Ninian a Briton who had received orthodox instruction at Rome in the faith and the mysteries of the truth’. Bede’s observation concerning St Ninian would have undoubtedly been built upon the local traditions regarding St Ninian as reported to him by Pecthelm the first Northumbrian Bishop of Whithorn (731?-735) who was both correspondent and contemporary to Bede. John MacQueen argues that Bede’s account is an extract of another literary source from which The Miracula Nynie Episcopi, a late eighth century anonymous poem and the Vita Niniani almost certainly authored by Ailred of Rievaulx no later than 1166 are descended. The Miracula and Vita, MacQueen proposes, seemingly derive their source from a Latin version of a vernacular tradition surrounding St Ninian that unfortunately no longer exists. Given the distance in time between the literary records and the earliest Christian witness in the region, their dependence upon an unavailable source and the clear political agenda of Bede in promoting an English episcopacy at Whithorn, can Bede’s assertion of St Ninian as Bishop be trusted?
Ian Wood highlights a further challenge faced when seeking to understand Whithorn and St Ninian from literary sources. Placing the man, St Ninian, in history is not an easy task and has considerable bearing on the purpose of Whithorn’s function depending on where in history you place him. If an early fifth century dating for Ninian is preferred Wood states:
One has to set him against the work of Germanus, Palladius and Patrick – that is to set him in a context of the pastoral concerns of bishops, perhaps even in that of the drive against Pelagianism, and, more important, of missionary work, at a time that the West Roman Empire was failing. This, of course, would sort well with Ninian’s evangelisation of the southern Picts.
However others such as Thomas Owen Clancy have argued for an identifying of St Ninian with St Finnian the Irish monk which draws us to a later sixth century dating, setting our man in the rapid expansion of Irish monastic influence and continental peregrinatio. Clearly these conflicting timelines cannot both be right and further highlight the difficulties we have in harmonising the literary sources in answering our question.
Whithorn is in Galloway, Scotland near the coast located in the Roman established buffer zone between Hadrian’s and Antonine Walls. Charles Thomas presents a scenario, drawing on the work of Sir Ian Richmond that a number of the local British tribes; Damnonii and Votadini, during the mid to late fourth century may have become foederati or formal treaty states. Thereby creating a military buffer zone, between the Romans and the Picts north of the Antonine Wall. This buffer zone, Thomas asserts, would have been made with tribal groups sympathetic of Rome and most likely of British, rather than Pictish ethnicity. If we assume for a minute this is correct, then the ethnicity of the local people may have a bearing on our question. If the local people to Whithorn were British not Pictish, how does the legend of St Ninian as missioner to the Southern Picts fit in with the evidences of place name dedications north of the Antonine Wall, as asserted by Bede, where the Pictish peoples were living?
In attempting to answer some of these questions, we need to establish a credible window in time for the foundation of Whithorn. The Imperial Roman withdrawal from northern and western Britain around 383 to 388 was a watershed moment for northern Britain and the subsequent social and cultural confusion means our task is made all the more difficult. There are some evidences to suggest that the Whithorn site could have been a Roman settlement of unknown significance. Thomas suggests the site may have been a Roman town, citing cremation remains and Roman pottery finds at a depth of 12 ft that predated the Anglian settlement. The later excavations under taken by Peter Hill, could also support this idea as additional evidence of Roman usage is the Phase 0 road, which Hill states, ‘must have been earlier than the late fifth century, but cannot be dated with greater precision’. Is this road Roman in origin or sub-Roman? Given the lack of precision on the dating, one can only speculate as to its source in history.
The Latinus Stone and other Christian memorials.
The Latinus Stone discovered in 1890/91 by William Galloway, the Latinus Stone is perhaps the most compelling evidence of an early date for a Christian Whithorn. The stone is a commemoration to Latinus and his daughter and was located in the centre of what was the inner zone of the early ecclesiastical settlement. The stones opening line Te Dominum laudamus, ‘We praise thee, O Lord’ is a clear witness to its Christian identity and ‘an echo of Romano-British scripture’. Latinus is a Roman name and seems to mirror the popularity in sub Romano-British culture of adopting Latin names in the early fifth century. This Latin naming convention is further evidenced in the inclusion of Latinus’s daughter, representing a Roman monumental tradition consistent with late fourth and early fifth century dating. Katherine Forsyth drawing on the work of Carlo Tedeschi focuses our attention to the formation of the lettering and the lack of abbreviations on the stone as, ‘exhibiting the following palaeographical features which are typical of late Roman provincial epigraphy, in Britain and elsewhere’.
An additionally clue on the stone to its dating, is the inclusion of ‘Barrovadi’, or its Celtic reconstruction Barrouadi. Latinus is recorded as nepus (grandson or descendent) of Barrouadi and his inclusion gives a further insight to the dating of the Whithorn area. Forsyth argues that given the stones funerary identity and the naming convention of including daughter and grandfather, could this stone have been a proprietorial monument erected by Latinus’s immediate family as a claim on local hereditary land rights? The point here is, given the political vacuum created by the withdrawal of Roman administration, clear indicators of land ownership would have been required to assert familial rights over potentially disputable territory. The Latinus Stone would seem to add veracity to the claim, when coupled with the evidences cited above, for an early fifth century sub-Roman dating for the establishment of Whithorn.
If we cast our gaze further afield there are a number of other stone monuments that witness to Christianity being active in the period. The Kirkmadrine Stones were first recorded in the early nineteenth century by artist William Todd and stood as burial stones in the Kirkmadrine Parish of Stoneykirk. Kirkmadrine’s location is situated to the west of Whithorn on the adjacent peninsula some 30 miles as the crow flies. These stones, dated from 500 onwards, witness to the lives of Viventius and Mavorius who are noted as sacredotes, a term Hill states as ‘embracing the senior ecclesiastical ranks of presbyter (priest) and episcopus (bishop)’. The encircled chi-rho symbol prominent on these stones, raises the possibility of Gaulish influence in the region, given that equivalent representation are not found elsewhere in the British Isles north of Cornwall but do correspond to the early Constantinian construction of the chi-rho found on the continent.
The Petrus Stone is a further commemorative stone and possible a roadside boundary marker, originally sited just southwest of Whithorn has a suggested date of the seventh century. It’s unique cross-of-arcs motif bears similarities to crosses common on the west coast of Ireland, as well as significant similarities to a cross at Maughold on the Isles of Man, which suggests an Irish influence in the area towards the end of the period leading up to the Northumbrian involvement with Whithorn.
The Foundation of Candida Casa.
Having established a Christian witness in the Galloway area through the sub Roman styled monuments we can see strong indications of an Episcopal model of witness in its early history. Does the physical evolution of the Whithorn site actually concur with this assumption? Bede records,
This place which is in the Kingdom of Bernicia is commonly called Whithorn, the White House, because Ninian built a church of stone there, using methods unusual among the Britons.
Bede is unequivocal in his implication that one of the unique aspects of Whithorn is that it broke with the British tradition of dab and wattle church construction. Candida Casa translated ‘at the White House’ is the first literary description we have available to us of Whithorn and provides a credible point of departure for us as we look to explore the physical geography of the site. Here allegedly is a Church foundation firmly rooted in the tradition that Bede himself ascribed too, namely the Roman tradition. The church was reportedly a stone church and was built using methods that imply imported techniques. The archaeological work recorded by Peter Hill is a foundational reference in the attempt to explore these questions. The excavations of Whithorn, since the early 80’s, have revealed valuable information about the early physicality of the site and can help us in establishing the veracity of Bede’s assumptions. As the Whithorn site grew, how did its development occur and what can this tell us of its form and function as a Christian community?
Given the existence of a sub-Roman road, alongside other Roman coarse wares and glassware that are dated as ‘characteristically fourth century material’ and first to third century respectively, although inconclusive, it cannot be discounted that this was in some way a small Roman settlement with a likely Christian community prior to its formation as a distinctly Christian site. Thompson reinforces the idea of an episcopal seat drawing from historical precedent when he says,
No example is known of a man who was appointed bishop with the specific task of going beyond the frontier in order to convert the barbarians. A bishop with no Christian communities subject to his authority was an unknown phenomenon beyond the Imperial frontier.
However Hill sounds a note of caution regarding the assumption that Whithorn may have been an early Roman settlement, highlighting that despite a number of ‘significant finds’ like the stemmed cup with ‘Mediterranean and Frankish parallels’, the site offers nothing more than possibilities given ‘the absence of structural remains’.
The location of Whithorn is set ‘in a desert place’ and in many ways fits the physical descriptor of a Celtic monastic site. Jonathan Wooding draws a parallel with St David’s in Wales. Both sites are central locations, set on a peninsula allowing easy access to trade routes and surrounded by a number of chapel sites closer to the coast.  In the case of Whithorn, one of these would have been the Isle of Whithorn, which offers suitable sea access with a direct road link to the inland settlement and is in close proximity, via the sea, to the larger and more established conurbation of Carlisle. The retreat in recent years of the dominant narrative surrounding Celtic coastal sites as being solely established and founded by early wandering ascetics opens up the possibility of understanding the relationship between Whithorn, Carlisle and coastal locations like the Isle of Whithorn in a new light. Could it be that the establishment of Whithorn was an extension, via the sea, of the episcopal seat in Carlisle? Carlisle was the most northerly port town in Roman Britain and what can be deduced is that Whithorn was easily accessible to Romano-British, Irish and Gaulish seafarers.
Our earliest clues about the spiritual life at Whithorn can be found in the shape of the site, the cemetery finds, the agricultural and industrial impact the emerging community had on the landscape, as well as any evidences of foreign trade. Interestingly the site consisted of a double monastic enclosure with its typical inner and outer zone. The inner zone enclosed the early foundations of a church, the Latinus Stone and what appears to be the shrine of the founder and a number of graves. A boundary demarked the inner and outer zones with fence post remains indicating the existence of a walled enclosure. The outer precinct is characterised by a series of rectilinear residential buildings and the existence of an industrial zone. In short we have is a double circular enclosure, with an inner zone comprising of Church, shrine and cemetery and an outer zone comprising residential, agricultural and industrial activity.
The Inner Zone – Church
Was this church, referred to by Bede, the one St Ninian is claimed to have built? In short there appears no conclusive archaeological evidence to support this. What we do have however seems to be confirmation of a departure from the traditional Irish and British rectilinear structures consisting of stake and wattle. This is evidenced in the existence of lime, iron ore, haematite, all of which would need to have been processed for a purpose indicating a more substantial structure like a Church. The use of lime wash on the external walls of a stone building would give the appearance of dull white in the sunlight, which would add a touch of realism to the legend of ‘The White House’. Hill ascribes a closing date on many of these earliest Period 1 finds as no later than 550. What this does however indicate is that from its earliest establishment the Whithorn site must have been influenced from the Continent, giving rise to the idea that a peripatetic community from Gaul where we can see such building technologies were in regular use, may have established Whithorn. Assuming this is correct as Daphne Brooke does, could this group have brought these fresh approaches with them that resulted in Whithorn becoming an aspirational and technically advanced community in the region?
Consistent with the development of the cult of saints in fifth and sixth century Britain and Ireland was the development of what might be a shrine dedicated to the founder. This shrine was situated towards the western edge of the inner zone and was clearly a focal point for the entire community. It was surrounded by what appears to have been a wooden and wattle fence that enclosed a number of the significant graves as well as an unknown monument that acted as the central attribute of the shrine. An interesting aspect of this shrine is that it grew in significance over the early phases of Whithorn, at one time being moved to a slightly more central location within the inner zone. This evolution would have mirrored the rising status of the Whithorn site and appears to have come to its full maturity with the ascension of the Northumbrian Episcopacy. What is noteworthy is that the development of an enclosure that surrounds a shrine is consistent with the physical traditions of many of the early Irish and Gaulish monastic foundations. This may highlight what Thomas infers, namely that the highly stylised western monastic practice of Martin of Tours may have been influential in Whithorn’s early development, although he is not convinced that Whithorn was established as a monastery on foundation.
The proximity of the graves to the existence of a shrine, presumably dedicated to its founder, also represents a typical feature common of monastic foundations. There are 118 graves with two styles of burial recorded, lintel and the more infrequent log-coffin burial. The latter type of burial is only recorded of Christian burial rites and indicates a person of high status being buried. This may indicate an evolutionary development of the site from a small community to one of higher status and notoriety during Whithorn’s Period 1 progression. Hill speculates that this important burial development, with its echoes of similar log coffin burials in Dunmisk County Tyrone, may demonstrate a progressive shift in cultural influences over time in favour of the Irish. All these graves are set within the inner zone and Hill notes,
Cemeteries were located outside Roman settlements in classical society and the Stage 5 burials, close to the core of the community, may thus mark an important change in attitudes, perhaps c. 520×540 AD.
This would seem to add weight to the notion that Whithorn was not a Roman settlement.
Outer Zone – Residential
A review of some of the residential pottery demonstrates the diversity of influences on Whithorn. D-ware and E-ware are all known to have originated in western France. Hill speculates that given the other concentrations of similar material on Dalkey Island and Samson in Scilly these finds demonstrate Whithorn was a destination location for merchant traders.
D-Ware is particularly rare and its association with high status locations, such as Dinas Powys and Briton Ferry does indicate that Whithorn was a location of some importance, corroborating the social development theory as witnessed in the development of its funerary customs. Also similar plate designs have been found in Tours, dating to the early sixth century that could suggest a direct link between the two sites and Whithorn’s association with St Martin.
Other diverse early examples are African decorated red-slip tableware originating from Carthage around the mid-sixth century, and the large amount of Mediterranean vessels of which the finds at Whithorn represent the largest outside of southwest England. This indicates direct trade with the eastern Mediterranean and can be given a fairly accurate dating of between c. 475-550.
Clearly it would seem that from a very early period Whithorn was in contact with both Gaul and the Mediterranean and seems to have been the final stop on a trade route that originated in the Eastern Mediterranean via Gaul, Scilly Isles, southwest England, West Wales and finally Whithorn.
Recent excavations at Whithorn uncovered a layer of cultivated midden soil datable to the fifth to seventh centuries enriched with bone and charcoal just outside the settlement which may have been a garden.
Throughout all the phases of the Period 1 development of Whithorn plough soil has been found, as well as soil enriched by charcoal, which would be expected of any newly formed and growing community. One of the literary myths surrounding St Ninian is the miracle of the leeks and the legends associated with Whithorn and its fertile gardens give us a flavour of the level of agricultural activity that would have been needed to sustain this fledgling community. There are even ‘hints of cultivation predating the roadway’ that may well indicate a smaller community existed before its establishment.
The discovery of Roman styled millstones, whether imported from a mill in the wider region or possibly inherited by the founders from the original community, cannot be proved either way, but does give a good link to a sub-Roman foundation of Whithorn.
The existences of plough pebbles indicate further contact beyond southwest Scotland and the early usage of imported technologies. Their incorporation on mould board ploughs would have meant that heavier soils could be cultivated and a larger population could be supported. Are these pebbles a clear link with a Gaulish influence on the location? Given that plough pebbles were used in the Auvergne and Loire regions of France, would suggest so. Equally their usage in the east of Ireland in association with St Finnian and his monasteries in Moville and Clonard would also indicate the possibility of an early Irish connection. All this adds to the tapestry of the primary external cultural influences on the community.
Numerous buildings situated around the outer zone were all found too contain residues of systemic industrial activity. Ranging from iron working debris, lime smears, slabs of sand, lime plaster, with good indications of metalworking and bronze working evidenced in the remains of a bellows protector. When added to the discovery of haematite amongst builders waste, that would have been imported from overseas and local quarrying debris, we can see that Whithorn was a centre of some significant industrial activity and would therefore have been that a destination for local, regional and international trade as a result.
All the ingredients from the inner and outer zone add up to a location of some importance. This was a community that was focused on worship and the activities needed to support this worshiping community like agriculture and building. What emerges unique about Whithorn in its early phases of community development is the use of technical skills that would not have been local, such as plough pebbles, imported building materials, and most intriguingly the use of lime wash on stone buildings. Whithorn was a growing community, an advanced community and a recipient of international trade and commerce.
Our examination so far has focused on the principle archaeology of Whithorn and I have sought to understand the site from the physical record left to us. In these final sections I want to explore a little of St Ninian’s historic identity and how this might feed into our conclusions concerning primary purpose. St Ninian is Whithorn’s reputed founder and of him we have little knowledge.
St Ninian’s enigmatic relationship with the site, has itself come into question by Clancy and others who have argued that St Ninian is in fact the same person as St Finnian of Moville and would therefore date the founding of ‘hwit erne’, its Irish rendering, by St Ninian to an early sixth century time-frame and an Irish Foundation. The connection between the two men is exemplified in the Latin hymn ‘Parce Domine’ found in the eleventh century Liber Hymnorum. This hymn places St Finnian in a love tryst with a Pictish princess Drusticc who is sent to Whithorn for her education and is presented as a peer of St Finnian. MacQueen draws an understandable inference,
That approximately a century after the time of Nynia, Whithorn was a place of study and learning with library resources sufficient to attract, and afterwards to tempt, the abbot even of so distinguished a house as Moville.
The idea of the two men being one and the same stretches the boundaries of the evidence, it also appears to directly contradict the Life of St Finnian that records he was forbidden to travel to Rome by an angel which directly contradicts the St Ninian legend. But it does fit into the characteristic of ‘monasterium’ as an educational establishment.
Monastery, Mission centre or Episcopal seat?
The archaeology of Whithorn is both extensive in its breadth of findings and inconclusive about the original founding purpose when framed in the terms of the question above. I am convinced the idea of mutually exclusive ecclesiastical functions or identities do not fit with the evidence that we have before us. Both Kathleen Hughes and Wendy Davis have demonstrated that Bishops exercised authority throughout Celtic Britain prior to, during and after the halcyon days of the monastic churches of the sixth to eight centuries. Yet the man Ninian as presented by Bede, equally does not seem to fit the exclusivity of being a Bishop, when the initial physical layout of the Whithorn site is understood in the light of the double enclosures associated with British and Irish monastic settlements. His work among the Picts as a missioner is not that obvious upon inspection. Bede’s inclusion of this info in his short introduction to St Ninian must be understood in the broader context of his summary of the work of St Columba and Iona’s mission journeys to the northern Picts a century later. It appears Bede grinding his Roman Celtic axe on the stone of episcopal supremacy. Earlier we noted that the ethnicity of the region was almost certainly British as opposed to Pictish, so the establishment of Whithorn itself is unlikely to have been inspired as a missionary centre to the local population. But was it the base from which he launched a mission to the southern Picts?
Thomas argues no saying,
A church which advances only some eighty miles in two centuries, and leaves such little evidence of its advance, is not, however, a missionary church’.
There are some indications of missional activity to be found in the residue of place name dedications to St Ninian along the border of the Antonine Wall. MacQueen referencing from the Vita of St Kentigern and A.D. Simpsons work seeks to show that of the seven place names Simpson identifies, five can in real terms be discounted as displaying little or no linguistic or archaeological support for St Ninian being active in those locations. This leaves two, Glasgow and St Ninian’s in Stirlingshire as genuine contenders. Glasgow, the seat of St Kentigern is said to have had a cemetery consecrated by St Ninian into which the body of Fregus was interned. MacQueen explores the use of the place name Cathures, which he argues, is difficult to locate with precision, as it may in fact have been a reference to either of the two locations. He goes on to make the observation that if St Ninian did in fact establish a cemetery at Cathures this would be consistent with the establishment of a church foundation associated with a consecrated cemetery. Hill however is clear in his archaeological assessment arguing that ‘the lack of early fifth century activity at Whithorn should lead us to question other claims of evangelical activity in Scotland in this period linked with the name of Nynia’. Given the tenuous evidence of place name dedications to St Ninian, coupled with the scant proof offered to us from the archaeological record I have to conclude that it is unlikely that Whithorn was established as a missionary centre from the outset. As to the evangelisation of the southern Picts, this remains sketchy, but I can envisage a scenario throughout the sixth century where a more active Irish influence led to missional activity in the regions that were not yet Christian.
I tend to agree with Thomas that Whithorn was a small Roman settlement given the proximity to the Roman town of Carlisle and the small amount of Roman finds on the site. A small outpost settlement in a treaty zone would explain why conclusive evidence is unforthcoming, but traces of Roman activity do remain. The withdrawal of the Roman legions from the region, the subsequent insecurity of this settlement may have triggered a request from a small Christian group for their own Bishop. The monuments in the region that are ascribed an early fifth century date, give clear evidence of an episcopal structure in the area and there is no reason to doubt, given the proximity in time to Patrick, Germanus and others, that St Ninian was an early Romano-British Bishop in the same vein.
This does not preclude however, as Brooke argues, that the role of St Ninian as Bishop would have been exclusive and beyond the influence of other systems of ecclesiastical modelling. The location of Whithorn as a northerly destination on the western British trade routes from Gaul, the Mediterranean and Ireland would have meant it was influenced from several sources. Clearly the unique agricultural and industrial evidences at the earliest archaeological levels of Whithorn demonstrate that very quickly, this location began to grow and mature, displaying entrepreneurial activity that gave rise to stories concerning the unique building architecture of St Ninian’s White House and the fertility of their gardens. It is disappointing that Hills excavations did not uncover the foundation of the actual White House, but this does not discount the unique developments in the area such as lime washed buildings, the use of plough pebbles and imported products like haematite all exhibit advanced industrial activity not common in southwest Scotland at the time.
Equally the physicality of the site shows considerable early Irish influence through its monastic double enclosure with the associated shrine, cemetery and Church being the focal point of the community. Its residential and industrial outer zone displayed all the hallmarks of a growing monasterium. The apocryphal tales of St Ninian, St Finnian, Drusticc and St Kentigern, all suggest that by the mid sixth century Whithorn had become a destination monasterium and had developed a thriving cultural, educational and spiritual identity as evidenced in the continual development of the Shrine and the healing cult that arose around St Ninian. This rapid development must have been influenced from somewhere and it is perfectly conceivable that the obvious Gaulish influence may well have come from an early connection with the influential monastery at Tours, but I cannot subscribe to the idea that Whithorn was founded by a peripatetic group of monks who colonised the area in the name of St Martin. When the Northumbrians took control of Whithorn, they had inherited a mature site with a distinct identity and historical association with its founder St Ninian. The Northumbrians recording, developing and embellishing the cult of St Ninian of Whithorn may well have been an excellent piece politics in the face of a potential resentful community.
It is my conclusion that Whithorn was founded as a primary episcopal seat and that St Ninian was a bishop monk who established Whithorn as an early prototype monasterium.
 I use Charles Thomas’s definition of sub-Roman as 400–800 AD from Celtic Britain. (1986). London, Thames & Hudson. p.37.
 Hughes, K. (1966). The Church in Early Irish Society. London, UK: Methuen & Co Ltd. p.25.
 Ibid., Bede. p.114.
 Hill, P. (1997). Whithorn and St Ninian. The Excavations of a Monastic Town 1984-91. Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing. p.19.
 MacQueen, J. (1990). St Nynia & The Miracles of Bishop Nynia. (W. MacQueen, Trans.) Edinburgh, UK: Polygon Books. p.3.
 ibid., p.11.
 ibid., p.11.
 Clancy argues this position forcefully in The Real St Ninian, implying that the Ninian account may have been a later addition by Bede as a ‘contra-Columba’ insertion.
 Wood, I. (2009). Britain and the Continent in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries: the evidence of Ninian. (J. Murray, Ed.) St Ninian and the Earliest Christianity in Scotland. BAR British series 483 , p.79.
 Clancy, T. O. (2001). The Real St Ninian. The Innes Review , 52 (1), p.25
 ibid., p.77.
 Thomas, C. (1981). Christianity in Roman Britain to AD 500. London, UK: Batsford. p.278.
 ibid., Bede. p.114-115.
 Thomas, C. (1981). Christianity in Roman Britain to AD 500. London, UK: Batsford. p.283.
 Peter Hill talks of Whithorns development in Phases from 0 (sub-Roman) to Phase VI c1600 to the prsent day.
 Hill, P. (1997). Whithorn and St Ninian. The Excavations of a Monastic Town 1984-91. Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing. p.26.
 Forsyth, K. (2009). The Latinus Stone: Whithorn’s Earliest Christian Monument. (J. Murray, Ed.) St Ninian and the Earliest Christianity in Scotand; BAR British Series 483 . p.19.
 ibid., Thomas. p.283.
 ibid., Forsyth. p.26.
 ibid., p.24.
 ibid., p.22.
 ibid., p.32.
 Thomas, C. (1986). Celtic Britain. London, UK: Thames and Hudson. p.99.
 ibid., Hill (1997). p.12.
 There are two exceptions, the Roman fort at Maryport and Catterick Yorkshire. See Hill (1997). p.615.
 ibid., p.616.
 ibid., p.617.
 ibid., Bede. p.115.
 ibid., Hill (1997). pp.293-294.
 Thomas, C. (1981). Christianity in Roman Britain to AD 500. London, UK: Batsford. p.282. quoting Thompson, E. (1958). The Origins of Christianity in Scotland. Scottish Historical Review (37), pp. 17-22.
 ibid., Hill (1997). pp.26-27.
 Wooding, J. (2009). St Ninian: Archaeology and the dossier of a Saint’s Cult. (J. Murray, ed.) St Ninian and the Earliest Christianity in Scotland, BAR British Series 483 , pp.7-8.
 ibid., Thomas (1986). p.98.
 Wooding, J. (2007). Island and coaster churches in medieval Wales and Ireland. (K. Jankulak, & J. Wooding, Eds.) Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts Press. pp.202-205
 ibid., Hill (1997) p.67.
 ibid., pp.69-70.
 ibid., p.77.
 ibid., p.28.
 Brooke, D. (1994). Wild Men and Holy Places. St Ninian, Whithorn and the Medieval Realm of Galloway. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate Press. pp. 18-20.
 ibid., Hill (1997). pp.92-94.
 ibid., Thomas (1986). p.135.
 ibid., p.37.
 ibid., p28.
 ibid., p.319.
 ibid., p.315.
 ibid., p316.
 Cessford, C. (1994, Summer). Gardens of the ‘Gododdin’. Garden History , 22 (1), p.115.
 ibid., MacQueen (1990). p.93.
 ibid., Hill (1997). p.74.
 ibid., p.29.
 ibid., Brooke (1994). p.18.
 ibid., Hill (1997). p.29.
 ibid., p.87.
 ibid., p.79.
 ibid., p.87.
 ibid., p.28.
 ibid., Hill (1997). p.3.
 ibid., MacQueen (1990). p.41.
 ibid., p.44.
 ibid., Wood (2009). p.78.
 See Hughes, K. (1966). The Church in Early Irish Society. London, UK: Methuen & Co Ltd.
 See Davies, W. (1992). The Myth of the Celtic Church. In N. Edwards, & A. Lane (Eds.), “The Early Church in Wales and the West” Recent Work in Early Christian Archaeology, History and Place-names. Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books. p.15.
 Thomas, C. (1971). The Early Christian Archaeology of North Britain. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p.16.
 The Celtic Church in Scotland (Aberdeen, 1935).
 The locations are as follows; Glasgow, St Ninian in Stirlingshire, Arbirlot in Angus, Dunnottar in the Mearns, Methlick in Aberdeenshire, Glenurquhart in Invernesshire and Navidale in Sutherland.
 ibid., MacQueen (1990). pp.70-71.
 ibid., Hill (1997). p.39.
 ibid., Brooke (1994). p.19.