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Dunbar Castle Park,settlements,burials and defences

A Scheduled Monument in Dunbar and East Linton, East Lothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0045 / 56°0'16"N

Longitude: -2.5174 / 2°31'2"W

OS Eastings: 367833

OS Northings: 679183

OS Grid: NT678791

Mapcode National: GBR ND4V.9GR

Mapcode Global: WH8W0.9BHQ

Entry Name: Dunbar Castle Park,settlements,burials and defences

Scheduled Date: 20 April 1994

Last Amended: 14 November 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5960

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Ecclesiastical: burial ground, cemetery, graveyard; Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includ

Location: Dunbar

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: Dunbar and East Linton

Traditional County: East Lothian

Description

The monument consists of a promontory of land immediately south of the headland occupied by Dunbar Castle which contains remains of domestic and military occupation from the pre-Roman Iron Age to the 16th century AD. Almost all traces of post 16th-century constructions which formerly stood on this site have recently been removed.

In the 1980's limited excavations were undertaken in advance of development. These demonstrated that the area is rich in the remains of several periods. The earliest evidence is from a pre-Roman Iron Age promontory fort: traces of three defensive ditches were detected. These ditches were overlain by the remains of a settlement dating to between AD 120 and AD 500. The excavations provided evidence of occupation, industrial processes, (possibly tanning), and a defensive palisade. The third period of occupation displayed Northumbrian influence and include a large rectangular grubenhaus (house with a sunken floor) and a defensive ditch and palisade. The finds associated with the third period deposits included a seventh-century buckle, eighth and ninth century coins and a fragment of a pectoral cross of seventh century date.

The Medieval Castle of Dunbar was concentrated on the headland, however in 1550 a new fort was built by the French across the promontory to protect the 1514 blockhouse and the earlier castle. A massive ditch and several internal buildings were identified during excavations. The fort was demolished in 1560.

The excavations took place in two trenches, in advance of the building of a swiming pool, neither was completely excavated, so will be included within the scheduled area. In addition work was carried out to landscape the area and to build a car park to the south of the swimming pool, during excavation to lay drains in this area cist burials were discovered. These are probably associated with a chapel which once stood in the position of Lauderdale house.

The area to be scheduled is marked in red on the accompanying map and measures 180m E-W and 170 N-S. Specifically excluded are the swimming pool building, all modern fences and walls, the old barrack guardhouse, and the electricity substation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has the potential, through excavation, to provide information about the settlement, defence and material culture of Dunbar and its hinterland during the pre-Roman Iron Age, Early Christian, Northumbrian and late Medieval periods.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NT67NE 141.0.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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