From Colonsay to Whithorn: the work of a 19th-century antiquary, William Galloway

Anna Ritchie (Author)

Sculpture, Viking Age Burials, Architecture
Nineteenth century


William B M Galloway (1832-97) is one of the less well-known Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in the second half of the 19th century whose achievements deserve recognition. He was an architect with a distinct archaeological bent, and he was particularly interested in early ecclesiastical buildings and sculpture. He appears to have worked freelance after an initial training in Patrick Wilson's architectural practice, and he is best known for his work at Whithorn Priory. He collaborated with Sir Henry Dryden over the latter's surveys of St Magnus Cathedral and Iona Abbey, and more than a hundred letters are preserved in the Orkney Archive. These illuminate many of his diverse archaeological activities, including Viking-age burials in Colonsay, as well as his approach to architectural conservation and his interest in photography. He was very active in the Society in the 1870s but appears to have fallen out with Joseph Anderson, the Keeper of the Museum, in the early 1880s.


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How to Cite
Ritchie, A. (2013). From Colonsay to Whithorn: the work of a 19th-century antiquary, William Galloway. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 142, 435-465. Retrieved from

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