Ancient Monuments

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Kilspindie Castle,castle and settlement

A Scheduled Monument in North Berwick Coastal, East Lothian

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Latitude: 56.01 / 56°0'36"N

Longitude: -2.8646 / 2°51'52"W

OS Eastings: 346186

OS Northings: 680012

OS Grid: NT461800

Mapcode National: GBR 2N.TBCW

Mapcode Global: WH7TP.Z62H

Entry Name: Kilspindie Castle,castle and settlement

Scheduled Date: 23 May 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5997

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Aberlady

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: North Berwick Coastal

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument comprises the remains of a castle of late sixteenth century date and an area of settlement around it dating from the Northumbrian and medieval periods.

The monument lies on the coast, on the N periphery of Aberlady in the field known as the Glebe. The castle is represented by its N wall which is visible for a length of some 11m and contains a door and gunloop, and by the return of its W wall. The N wall survives to a maximum height of approximately 2m. Elsewhere the masonry has been largely removed and the interior of the structure is under


Metal detecting over several years has recovered a rich assemblage of artefacts, the quantity and concentration of which suggest that settlement in this field dates back to the Northumbrian period and possibly earlier. A 2nd century AD fibula is the earliest datable find but it cannot by itself support an equally early date for the settlement.

By contrast finds from the Northumbrian period include a substantial assemblage of coins and metalwork far in excess of what might be expected from a series of stray finds. Additional material suggests continuous occupation between the late 1st millennium AD and the destruction of the castle in the seventeenth century.

The area to be scheduled encompasses the castle and the area around it in which the concentrations of artefactual material suggest that occupation has been focussed. It is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 240m ENE-WSW by 210m 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 settlement in southern Scotland during the period of Northumbrian influence. The possibility of tracing the continuous development of settlement through the Northumbrian and medieval periods, without the overburden of subsequent buildings, makes this a site of considerable rarity and importance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 48 SE 3.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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