The most remarkable detail in Bede's account is that Ninian built a stone church called Candida Casa (the white house), because it had been plastered or painted white. Archaeological excavation has confirmed the remains of a stone church and supports the claim that Whithorn was an early Christian site. Although it is usually assumed that he flourished in the fifth century on the basis of Bede's statement that Ninian worked among the Picts ‘a long time’ before Colum Cille (qv), the archaeological and historical evidence would seem to indicate the first half of the sixth century. His association with the cult of St Martin, which was first established in Rome in the early sixth century, and the associations of some sixth-century Irish saints with the foundation of Whithorn, support this dating. The extent of Ninian's mission has not been established. There are dedications to him in many parts of Scotland and three in northern England; the evidence of the dedications is, however, of uncertain value. Ninian's cult survived into early modern times and his shrine was a site of pilgrimage. His feast-day is 26 August.