Ancient Monuments

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South Belton, enclosed settlements 390m north east of

A Scheduled Monument in Dunbar and East Linton, East Lothian

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Latitude: 55.9869 / 55°59'12"N

Longitude: -2.5556 / 2°33'20"W

OS Eastings: 365432

OS Northings: 677237

OS Grid: NT654772

Mapcode National: GBR ND1W.PYB

Mapcode Global: WH8VZ.QS78

Entry Name: South Belton, enclosed settlements 390m NE of

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1993

Last Amended: 13 December 2013

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5830

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 enclosed prehistoric settlements that probably date to between 1200 BC and AD 400. The settlements lie buried beneath the plough soil and are visible as cropmarks captured on oblique aerial photographs. The smaller settlement is enclosed by a ditch about 1.6m wide, surrounding an oval area measuring about 38m NE-SW by 31m transversely. The larger settlement overlaps the smaller one and is enclosed by a ditch between 2m and 3.2m wide, surrounding a sub-square area measuring about 78m N-S by 72m transversely. Both enclosures are likely to contain the remains of houses and other structures in their interiors. The settlements occupy an area of relatively level ground on the coastal plain 1.3km S of Belhaven Bay, at around 25m OD. The monument was first scheduled in 1993, but the scheduled area did not include all the archaeological remains: the present amendment rectifies this.

The scheduled area is circular on plan and measures 150m in diameter, 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.

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 is a rare example of oval and sub-square settlement enclosures that lie superimposed in the same location. It offers potential to compare settlement form and character over a long time period and may encapsulate change in the later prehistoric landscape from circular to rectilinear settlement. 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 in SE Scotland would be diminished if this monument was lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT67NE 76. The East Lothian Council Historic Environment Record reference is MEL1576.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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