Ancient Monuments

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Dirleton Castle, Dovecot and Gardens

A Scheduled Monument in North Berwick Coastal, East Lothian

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Latitude: 56.0459 / 56°2'45"N

Longitude: -2.7791 / 2°46'44"W

OS Eastings: 351562

OS Northings: 683947

OS Grid: NT515839

Mapcode National: GBR 2R.R5L1

Mapcode Global: WH7TK.89VG

Entry Name: Dirleton Castle, Dovecot and Gardens

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1981

Last Amended: 11 June 2018

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM90096

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: castle

Location: Dirleton

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: North Berwick Coastal

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument consists of the remains of Dirleton Castle with its associated dovecot, gardens and ancillary structures.

The castle dates from the 13th century and was founded by the de Vaux family. It was enlarged by the Halyburton family in the 14th and 15th centuries, with the construction of a splendid new gatehouse and hall range. The final major phase in its construction was the building of the Ruthven lodging in the late 16th century. Dirleton was besieged as part of General Monck's campaign in southern Scotland in 1650. It was abandoned as a fine residence after the Dirleton estate was bought by the Nisbet family in 1663, and built Archerfield House only about 1km away, NW of Dirleton. However, Dirleton continued to play a role in the Archerfield estate and, in the 19th century, the gardens were laid out once more as pleasure grounds.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape and measures approximately 210m E-W by 175 N-S, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The boundary wall, which defines the monument, is included in the scheduling. The principal exlusions from the scheduling include: all timber-built structures in the grounds; the boundary wall abutting the clubhouse of the Bowling Club; all the above-ground structures in the area of the works yard in the SE corner of the grounds; and the top 600mm of ground surface in the NE garden (this is the area shaded green on the accompanying map).

Amended on 11 June 2018 as follows:

The scheduled monument extends up to but does not include boundary walls and fences.

Specifically excluded (in addition to and amended from current exclusions)  are:

The top 300mm of all paths and gravel areas to allow for their maintenance;
The above ground elements of all garden walls and steps, wooden walkways, timber-built structures, modern signage, floodlights, handrails and modern fixtures and fittings;
The top 300mm of ground surface of the bowling green; and 
The top 600mm of ground surface of the north east garden.

  The plan annexed and executed as relative hereto is revised to take account of the above amendments.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Historic Environment Scotland Properties
Dirleton Castle
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Related Designations

Designation TypeGarden & Designed LandscapeStatusDesignated

Dirleton castle gate, tower, north and west gateways and boundary walls, excluding scheduled monument SM90096, DirletonLB1525
Designation TypeListed Building (A)StatusDesignated


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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