Ancient Monuments

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Foster Law,enclosure,ring ditch and pit alignment

A Scheduled Monument in Haddington and Lammermuir, East Lothian

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Latitude: 55.997 / 55°59'49"N

Longitude: -2.7927 / 2°47'33"W

OS Eastings: 350654

OS Northings: 678515

OS Grid: NT506785

Mapcode National: GBR 2R.V2KF

Mapcode Global: WH7TR.2JFG

Entry Name: Foster Law,enclosure,ring ditch and pit alignment

Scheduled Date: 16 December 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5862

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive)

Location: Athelstaneford

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: Haddington and Lammermuir

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument comprises the remains of two overlapping enclosed settlements, a ring ditch and pit alignments of prehistoric date, all represented by cropmarks visible on oblique aerial photographs.

The site lies in gently undulating, rich arable farmland lying between 55 and 65m OD on the fertile Lothian coastal plain. The more clearly visible enclosure is sub-rectangular in shape and is formed by a single ditch some 3-4m wide which encloses an area approximately 80m ENE-WSW by 50m. This enclosure appears to be superimposed on a fainter enclosure of similar dimensions which extends slightly further to the W with its long axis aligned E-W. Both enclosures have entrances centrally located at their respective W termini.

The clearer enclosure has a further possible entrance directly opposite this on the E. It is not possible to ascertain the chronological relationship between the two enclosures from the aerial photographic evidence.

A pit alignment runs ENE-WSW for a distance of at least 200m from a point close to the SW part of the overlapping enclosures. This pit alignment appears to have formed part of a wider series of prehistoric field boundaries in the area around The Chesters, the nearby fort. Close to the E end of the visible part of the pit alignment, and some 15-20m to the N of it, is a small ring ditch, some 8-10m in diameter with a clear entrance on the S.

A further pit alignment runs N-S for at least 300m from a point some 50m S of this ring ditch. It appears likely that the two pit alignments join close to the ring ditch though the ground conditions prevent the production of cropmarks in this part of the field. Further pit alignments lead off from that described above, joining other parts of the larger field system.

The area to be scheduled comprises the visible features and an area around them in which traces of associated activity may be expected to survive. It is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 470m WSW- ENE by 450m as marked in red on the accompanying map. The area of the existing quarry is excluded from the scheduling.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to add to our understanding of the nature and development of prehistoric settlement and farming systems in Scotland. The functional and chronological relationships between the various features represented may provide significant information on the changing use of the prehistoric landscape. The significance of the features is greatly enhanced by their proximity and likely association with the wider prehistoric landscape centred around The Chesters fort.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 57 NW 41, 45, 52.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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