Due to access restrictions in place as a precautionary measure while we undertake high level masonry inspections, there is currently no visitor access to this site.
One of the most beautiful and well-preserved medieval churches in Scotland, Seton enjoys a peaceful setting in the outskirts of Edinburgh and has a long history as a serene place of worship. Collegiate churches are so called because they housed a college, or community, of priests. Although its origins can be traced back to the 12th century, it was in the 1400s when the building was primarily used as the final resting place of the local landowners, the Seton family. The 1st Lord Seton set up the college of priests in 1470, and his son secured papal approval for full collegiate status in 1492. But with the coming of the Protestant Reformation in 1560, collegiate life changed forever and masses were no longer taken. Following the Seton family's support for the, ultimately doomed, Jacobite cause, the church was ransacked in 1715 by the Lothian Militia and the tombs destroyed. The estate eventually passed to the Earl of Wemyss who turned the church into his family burial vault in the 1700s.
Visitors can expect to find a tranquil setting with the opportunity to explore the priests domestic quarters and have a glimpse into the life led by the resident priests. Much of the atmospheric interior is in excellent condition including the sacristy, the choir and the multiple transepts. Be sure to also admire the vaulted chancel and apse that were 15th century additions. Seton Collegiate Church, known locally as Seton Chapel, can be found east of the town of Prestonpans in East Lothian. Please visit our website for opening times, access information and prices.