Ancient Monuments

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Overhailes, enclosure 600m WSW of

A Scheduled Monument in Dunbar and East Linton, East Lothian

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Latitude: 55.9748 / 55°58'29"N

Longitude: -2.6983 / 2°41'54"W

OS Eastings: 356514

OS Northings: 675971

OS Grid: NT565759

Mapcode National: GBR 2V.WRPY

Mapcode Global: WH7TZ.J390

Entry Name: Overhailes, enclosure 600m WSW of

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5961

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Prestonkirk

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: Dunbar and East Linton

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument comprises the remains of an enclosed settlement of prehistoric date represented by cropmarks visible on oblique aerial photographs.

The site lies on gently sloping ground in rolling arable farmland at around 70m OD in an area dominated by the presence of Traprain Law approximately 1km to the S. The enclosure is formed by a sub-rectangular ditch some 3-4m wide. It has overall dimensions of approximately 70m N-S by 55m although the S side is obscured on the available photographs by a track. There are indications of possible opposed entrances in the S parts of the E and W sides although the evidence is ambiguous. The SE corner of the enclosure appears to be occupied by a circular ditched or palisaded feature which may represent a separate phase of enclosure or an internal subdivision.

Sub-rectangular enclosures of this kind are generally regarded as the remains of native settlements of the period of the Roman incursions into southern Scotland. The present monument belongs to a group of such enclosures clustered near Traprain Law which is widely believed to have been an important tribal centre in this period.

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 circular with a diameter of 150m as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to add to our understanding of prehistoric settlement and social organisation in the period of the Roman incursions into southern Scotland. Its significance is greatly enhanced by its association with the wider group of settlements clustered near Traprain Law.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 57 NE 16.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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