Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Belton House, enclosed settlement 570m NNE of

A Scheduled Monument in Dunbar and East Linton, East Lothian

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Latitude: 55.9861 / 55°59'9"N

Longitude: -2.567 / 2°34'1"W

OS Eastings: 364723

OS Northings: 677158

OS Grid: NT647771

Mapcode National: GBR ND0W.YJV

Mapcode Global: WH8VZ.JSVV

Entry Name: Belton House, enclosed settlement 570m NNE of

Scheduled Date: 10 March 2000

Last Amended: 13 December 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM8750

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 an enclosed prehistoric settlement visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The settlement probably dates to between 1200 BC and AD 400. The cropmarks show that the settlement is enclosed by two substantial parallel ditches, each about 5m wide on average, bounding the E edge of an area that backs onto the steep-sided valley of the Biel Water to the W. The enclosed area is 'C'-shaped on plan and measures around 138m NW-SE by 42m transversely. The settlement occupies an area of relatively level ground on the coastal plain immediately E of the Biel Water, standing at around 20m OD. The monument was first scheduled in 2000, but an inadequate area was included to protect all the archaeological remains: the present amendment rectifies this.

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 may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. On the SW side the scheduling extends up to but excludes a post-and-wire fence. The above-ground elements of other post-and-wire fences that cross the scheduled area are specifically excluded to allow for their maintenance.

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. It retains substantial ditches and is a good example of a double-ditched enclosure laid out against the side of a steep valley, an important component of the later prehistoric landscape in lowland Scotland. Researchers have suggested that enclosed settlements such as this may have originated in the late Bronze Age and might be re-used until the later Iron Age. The monument's importance is enhanced by its association with the wider 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 66. The East Lothian Council Historic Environment Record reference is MEL2033.


Hazelgrove, C, 2009 Traprain Law Environs Project.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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