Around 1440, in the reign of King James II, William Crichton, then Lord Chancellor of Scotland, began this building, which may have been the site of an even older Christian shrine, and by 1449 his Collegiate Church was complete. ‘Collegiate’ describes churches where priests and singing boys were recruited to pray daily for the souls of the great families who built and owned them.
Lord Crichton led one of the three greatest Scottish families of the fifteenth century. The Livingstones, the Douglases and the Crichtons were often at war with each other. If the church looks like part of a fortified building, it is a reminder of dangerous days in this part of Scotland.