Ancient Monuments

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Paradise Wood,timber halls,enclosures and ring ditches

A Scheduled Monument in Dunbar and East Linton, East Lothian

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Latitude: 56.0177 / 56°1'3"N

Longitude: -2.6306 / 2°37'50"W

OS Eastings: 360783

OS Northings: 680715

OS Grid: NT607807

Mapcode National: GBR 2Y.SWFF

Mapcode Global: WH8VY.K0JK

Entry Name: Paradise Wood,timber halls,enclosures and ring ditches

Scheduled Date: 10 January 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5875

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Whitekirk and Tyninghame

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: Dunbar and East Linton

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument comprises a series of timber halls with associated enclosures, together with a number of ring ditches and enclosures, of prehistoric and Early Historic date. All of the features are represented by cropmarks visible on oblique aerial photographs.

The various features which comprise the monument occupy an extensive area of relatively flat arable land extending for approximately 1km N-S at around 20m OD, within the later designed landscape around Tyninghame House. The S part of the area contains a single ring ditch and a linear ditch probably representing elements of a late prehistoric farming settlement.

N of these features is a series of at least three substantial timber halls. These lie within and around a complex of conjoined rectangular enclosures aligned E-W and opening onto a probable E-W running, ditch-defined, trackway to the N. This complex overlaps with one of the timber buildings indicating a degree of time depth to the features. This part of the monument can be interpreted as a multi- phase farming site of Early Historic date. The nature of the buildings suggests that it was occupied by incoming settlers following the Anglian conquest of Lothian.

N of the probable Anglian structures is a group of at least seven well-defined ring-ditches of various sizes and forms, including at least two with double, concentric, ditches. This group of structures is aligned broadly N-S and associated with numerous lengths of ditch which may have formed parts of associated field systems. The complex appears to represent an area of intensive late prehistoric farming settlement, although it is possible that some of the ring ditches may be associated with funerary rather than domestic activity.

The area to be scheduled encompasses the visible features and an area around them in which traces of associated activity may be expected to survive. It is divided into three irregularly shaped parts. The S part has maximum dimensions of 390m NW-SE by 210m, the central part 700m NE-SW by 320m, and the N part 200m ENE-WSW by 150m, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a rare surviving example both of an Anglican settlement and of an extensive open settlement of the prehistoric period. The relationship between the prehistoric and Anglican elements will be of great importance to the study of the early history of southern Scotland. The site has the potential to provide detailed evidence for settlement and economic organisation in both the prehistoric and Early Historic periods and provide important information on the nature of the transition between the two.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 68 SW 15, 16 20 and 31.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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