Ancient Monuments

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Doon Hill,forts

A Scheduled Monument in Dunbar and East Linton, East Lothian

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Latitude: 55.972 / 55°58'19"N

Longitude: -2.5076 / 2°30'27"W

OS Eastings: 368417

OS Northings: 675557

OS Grid: NT684755

Mapcode National: GBR ND5X.V9Z

Mapcode Global: WH8W6.G544

Entry Name: Doon Hill,forts

Scheduled Date: 15 October 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5764

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill and promontory fort)

Location: Spott

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: Dunbar and East Linton

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument comprises the remains of two forts of prehistoric date represented by cropmarks visible on oblique aerial photographs.

The forts occupy the crest of Doon Hill lying at a height of up to 177m OD. The NW-facing slopes are very steep and the forts command extensive views to the N and W across the Lothian coastal plain. The slopes to the S and E are less steep and it is on this side that the defences of the forts are most clearly visible. The E fort is defined by at least 5 narrow ditches or palisades, none of which can be traced for the complete circuit. It is oval in shape with maximum dimensions of approximately 150m NW-SE by 100m.

It is not clear if the defences continued around the steep, NW-facing side. Immediately to the W of this fort and slightly lower-lying are the remains of a multivallate oval fort measuring some 180m E-W by 100m. This is defined by three concentric ditches which appear to form a complete circuit. There are indications of a possible oval palisaded enclosure occupying the W end of the interior.

The forts lie within 200m of the important Anglian and earlier enclosure on the E flanks of Doon Hill, and in an area rich in remains of the later prehistoric 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 irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 360m NE-SW by 180m 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 high status settlement in the prehistoric period. The association of the forts with the excavated Anglian settlement on Doon Hill and other settlements in the vicinity greatly enhances their potential importance in providing evidence for the long-term development of high-status settlement in southern Scotland from the Iron Age to the Early Medieval period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 67 NE 60 and 95.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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