Ancient Monuments

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The Chesters,fort,Drem

A Scheduled Monument in Haddington and Lammermuir, East Lothian

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Latitude: 55.9949 / 55°59'41"N

Longitude: -2.79 / 2°47'24"W

OS Eastings: 350818

OS Northings: 678274

OS Grid: NT508782

Mapcode National: GBR 2R.V93Y

Mapcode Global: WH7TR.3LP3

Entry Name: The Chesters,fort,Drem

Scheduled Date: 25 April 1923

Last Amended: 22 February 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90072

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Athelstaneford

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: Haddington and Lammermuir

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument comprises a multivallate fort of later prehistoric date surviving as a series of earthworks. It is one of the best preserved examples of this class of monument in Scotland.

The fort is oval with overall dimensions of approximately 250m E-W by 140m. It is defended by a series of ramparts (up to six at any one point) of which none are continuous for the complete circuit. This complexity of rampart design is especially pronounced at the E entrance.

The interior of the fort, measuring approximately 100m E-W by 40m, contains the remains of a number of hut circles possibly representing several phases of occupation. There is every reason to believe that the internal deposits of this unexcavated fort will be extremely well-preserved.

The siting of the fort is highly unusual in that it is overlooked by higher ground immediately to the S, thereby losing much of the potential defensive capability of its ramparts. The environs of the fort contain a wealth of settlement sites and pit-defined field systems which appear to focus on the monument itself. The implication is that the monument was less a defensive stronghold than the central focus of a prehistoric farming landscape.

The area to be scheduled encompasses the visible features and an area round them to the NE and E in which traces of associated activity may be expected to survive. In order to include fully the areas of high archaeological sensitivity the scheduled area exceeds the existing Guardianship area. The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 370m E-W by 190m as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a superb field monument, exhibiting the characteristics of an Iron Age fort in a classic, even extravagant, form, and because of its potential to contribute to our understanding of high-status settlement in the later prehistoric period.

The exceptional preservation of the site suggests that it could provide extremely detailed information on rampart and house construction and on contemporary domestic organisation. The position of the monument at the heart of an extensive buried landscape of settlement and field systems greatly enhances its significance to the study of later prehistoric settlement and economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 57 NW 1.


Halliday, S. P. (1982) 'Settlement, territory and landscapes: the later prehistoric landscape in the light of the 'Survey of Eastern Dumfriesshire' 'Trans Dumfriesshire Galloway Natur Hist Antiq Soc, 3rd, vol. 76, 91.
Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Chesters Hill Fort
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Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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