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Scheduled monuments

A scheduled monument is a monument of national importance that has legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

There are many archaeological sites and monuments in West Lothian, of which 52 are scheduled. They are part of our local and national identity and contribute to our history and education, tourism, sustainability, local distinctiveness, placemaking and quality of life. It is a finite and non-renewable resource that contains unique information and reflects the lives of people who lived in the area over the past 10,000 years.

Given the wide timespan of history, the types of scheduled monuments present in West Lothian highlight the diversity of activities which have taken place in the area. They range from pre-historic sites, through Roman forts, to iron-age settlements, castles and industrial sites.

Some monuments are easy to see, such as Linlithgow Palace, but most are below the ground surface. They are often fragile and sometimes not in the most accessible location. Common to them all is the legal protection given to them by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

As such, it is an offence to undertake works to a scheduled monument without consent. Prior written consent of the Scottish Government is required for most works, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Any person carrying out unauthorised works or allowing unauthorised works to be carried out on a scheduled monument, commits a criminal offence. In order to obtain further information or to make a scheduled monument consent application, you should contact Historic Environment Scotland (HES) - Scheduled Monument Consent (opens new window).

It is also an offence to metal detect without prior written permission from Scottish Ministers. Applications should NOT be submitted to the council, but should be made to Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Further detailed information can be found at HES web site: Canmore (opens new window)  This is the on-line catalogue to Scotland's archaeology, buildings, industrial and maritime heritage and maintained by Historic Environment Scotland.

The council adopted Planning Guidance (PG) related to the historic environment and a wide range of built heritage issues in 2021 and an Information booklet has been been prepared to support the PG. It sets out brief information, a description and location plan of each scheduled monument in West Lothian, as well as a link to the relevant HES 'Canmore' web information for more details. It is hoped this information will encourage local people to take an interest in this aspect of their built heritage."

Scheduled Monuments in West Lothian (2022) [1MB]

A separate booklet which provides information about the many country houses situated throughout West Lothian has also been produced.

Country Houses Booklet (Summer 2022) [13MB]



Find out more about  scheduled monuments in West Lothian [150KB]