Ancient Monuments

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Brunstane, moated site 50m NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in Portobello/Craigmillar, City of Edinburgh

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Latitude: 55.9405 / 55°56'25"N

Longitude: -3.0935 / 3°5'36"W

OS Eastings: 331795

OS Northings: 672479

OS Grid: NT317724

Mapcode National: GBR 2D.YLZJ

Mapcode Global: WH6SN.GY49

Entry Name: Brunstane, moated site 50m NNE of

Scheduled Date: 14 January 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10580

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: homestead moat

Location: Edinburgh

County: City of Edinburgh

Electoral Ward: Portobello/Craigmillar

Traditional County: Midlothian


The monument comprises a probable moated site of medieval date, visible as a cropmark on oblique aerial photographs. The site lies in an arable field at around 35m OD, immediately NNE of Brunstane.

The cropmark shows the remains of a rectilinear enclosure defined by a single broad ditch visible on three sides. The surviving portion measures some 45m NW-SE (which is probably the original width) by about 40m transversely (the site was originally longer). No entrance is visible. There appear to be two extensions of the ditch: one extending outwards at the NE corner of the cropmark; and one extending inwards on the W side of the enclosure.

The SW part of the enclosure is not visible on the aerial photographs, where it runs into the gardens of Brunstane House. Although it is possible that the remains of the enclosure survive within and beneath the gardens, no trace of it is visible in the gardens today, either from the air or from the ground.

Moated settlements were high-status defended residential sites of the medieval period. This example appears to represent the early settlement at Brunstane, referred to in 14th-century records as Gilbertoun, and is of particular interest because manorial occupation continued at this site into the post-medieval period.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape and measures a maximum of 66m NW-SE by 64m SW-NE, as marked in red on the accompanying map. It includes the moated site and an area around it within which remains relating to its construction and use may be expected to survive. The scheduled area is bounded on the SW by the gardens of Brunstane House; the garden boundary wall is specifically excluded from scheduling to allow for its maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of the character and dynamics of medieval high-status defended settlement sites. Its importance is enhanced by the surviving historical evidence for its association with the early settlement at Brunstane, referred to in 14th-century records as Gilbertoun; and because manorial occupation continued at this site into the post-medieval period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




MacGibbon, D. and Ross. T. (1887-92) The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v, Edinburgh, vol. 4, 176-81.

Lawson, J. City of Edinburgh Council Archaeological Officer: Information given to O Owen, September 2001.

RCAHMS Information on Canmore for the NMRS Nos. NT37SW 80. 00 and NT37SW 238.

RCAHMS (1929) Tenth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the counties of Midlothian and West Lothian Edinburgh, 128-9, No. 158.

RCAHMS (1995) Oblique aerial photograph ref. C52432.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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