Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Hedderwick, enclosed and unenclosed settlements 290m NNW of

A Scheduled Monument in Dunbar and East Linton, East Lothian

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Latitude: 55.9894 / 55°59'21"N

Longitude: -2.5911 / 2°35'27"W

OS Eastings: 363221

OS Northings: 677540

OS Grid: NT632775

Mapcode National: GBR 2Z.VRTN

Mapcode Global: WH8VZ.5QD9

Entry Name: Hedderwick, enclosed and unenclosed settlements 290m NNW of

Scheduled Date: 26 January 1978

Last Amended: 10 September 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4108

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive)

Location: Dunbar

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: Dunbar and East Linton

Traditional County: East Lothian


The monument is the remains of two adjacent prehistoric settlements, one enclosed and one unenclosed, dating probably to between 1200 BC and AD 400. The settlements lie buried beneath the ploughsoil and are visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The settlement to the W is enclosed by a substantial ditch with an internal palisade trench. The ditch is U-shaped on plan with a probable entrance to the S, and encloses an area measuring at least 35m N-S by 30m transversely. The unenclosed settlement stretches up to 250m to the E of the enclosure and is represented by the remains of a number of roundhouses and other features. The settlements occupy a gentle N-facing slope on the coastal plain about 3km SW of Belhaven Bay, at around 20m OD. The monument was first scheduled in 1978, but the scheduled area did not include all the archaeological remains: the present amendment rectifies this.

The ditch of the enclosed settlement measures about 2.5m'3.5m across. On the inside, the palisade trench is roughly symmetrically placed relative to the ditch and describes an almost complete oval measuring 36m N-S by 26m transversely. One well-defined roundhouse and three possible further examples lie in the interior, one of the latter overlapping the palisade. The cropmarks indicate that at least 10 roundhouses lie beyond the enclosure, to the E. They range from 6m to 16m in diameter and include probable ring-groove houses and scooped houses with sunken floors.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. On the N side, the scheduled area extends up to, but excludes a post-and-wire fence and hedge.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to knowledge and understanding of rural settlement in the late Bronze Age and Iron Age in lowland Scotland. It is a rare example of an enclosed settlement with ditch and palisade lying in close proximity to several unenclosed roundhouses, some scooped into the ground. It offers high potential to compare settlement form and character over a long time period and suggests change in the later prehistoric landscape from enclosed to unenclosed settlement. The monument's importance is enhanced by its association with the wider archaeological landscape of enclosed settlements on this part of the coastal plain, extending SE as far as Doon Hill. This landscape forms one of the most important concentrations of evidence for social and economic change in southern Scotland in the 1st millennia BC and AD. Our understanding of the distribution and character of later prehistoric settlements would be diminished if this monument was lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT67NW 20. The East Lothian Council Historic Environment Record reference is MEL1614.


RCAHMS Aerial Photographs A22253-A22257, D74704'D74707

Hazelgrove, C, 2009 Traprain Law Environs Project, fig A1.12, 249-250. Edinburgh.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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