Scheduled Monument

Hailes CastleSM13330

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Date Added
27/03/2014
Type
Secular: castle
Local Authority
East Lothian
Parish
Prestonkirk
NGR
NT 57481 75769
Coordinates
357481, 675769

Description

The monument is Hailes Castle, which dates originally from the 13th century, was remodelled in the 14th-15th centuries, and remained in use until Cromwell's invasion of SE Scotland in 1650. It is visible as a ruinous masonry castle standing mainly to wallhead height, comprising a keep to the E, a tower with courtyard and ancillary buildings to the W, and a substantial three-story block with attic. A curtain wall protects the landward approach. The monument is situated on the S bank of the River Tyne at about 30m OD. The monument was originally scheduled in 1928, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

The earliest part of the castle, dating to the 13th century, occupies the eastern half of the site and is represented by red sandstone ashlar work. This forms the lower storeys and pit prison of the keep and the basement of a well tower a little to the E. The upper part of the keep is of grey rubble construction and represents a later rebuilding or addition. The ditch which encircled the later curtain wall, but was subsequently filled in, may also date to this period. The tower, constructed of rubble masonry, dates to the 14th-15th centuries and comprises a storage basement, including a pit prison at ground level, a hall on the first floor and private chambers above. It overlooks a courtyard and various ancillary buildings, the footings of which are still visible. The curtain wall also belongs to this building phase. Between the tower and keep is a sizeable three-storey structure with attic, probably of 15th-century date, that has been substantially altered over the years. Ovens and a stone trough suggest that the basement was used as a service area. A possible piscina and sacrament house in the N and S walls suggest that, at some point, the upper storey may have functioned as a chapel. The remains of further buildings and a 'castle toun' may survive to the S.

Hailes was held by the Hepburn family for over 200 years from the mid 14th century, the last of whom was James, 4th Earl of Bothwell, who instigated the plot to murder Darnley, second husband of Mary Queen of Scots. After her abduction near Edinburgh by Bothwell in April 1567, Mary rested at Hailes on her way to Dunbar Castle. The earl became the Queen's third husband.

The castle was abandoned following Cromwell's invasion of Scotland in 1650, but re-occupied by tenants of the Dalrymple Estate in the 18th century. At a late period, the interior of the tower was converted into a dovecot.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan to include the remains described above and an area around them in which evidence for the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes: the above-ground elements of all modern boundary walls, fences and signage, and the top 300mm of all modern paths to allow for their maintenance.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance as a medieval castle that can make a significant contribution to our understanding of medieval fortified residences and expressions of status and wealth. The monument survives in excellent condition. The 13th-century keep is a particularly rare survival and the later tower and curtain wall are remarkably intact. The monument represents an important component of both the medieval and contemporary landscapes. Analysis of the upstanding remains and the buried archaeological deposits can provide information about the construction, layout and development of the castle, and evidence for the daily life, trading contacts and economy of the occupants. The monument is also of national importance for its historical associations, particularly with James, 4th Earl of Bothwell, and Mary Queen of Scots. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our ability to understand the form, function and character of medieval defensive residences in Scotland.

References

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NT58NE 5. East Lothian HER records it as MEL808.

References

Baldwin, J R 1985, Exploring Scotland's Heritage: Lothian and the Borders, Edinburgh, 83, no 42.

Ewart, G 2003, 'Hailes Castle (Prestonkirk parish), watching brief', Discovery Excav Scot 4, 62.

MacGibbon, D and Ross, T 1887-92, The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, 5v, Edinburgh, 1, 122-7.

McWilliam, C E 1978, Lothian except Edinburgh, The Buildings of Scotland series, Harmondsworth, 246, pl. 2.

RCAHMS 1924, Eighth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of East Lothian, Edinburgh, 61-7, no 147.

Richardson, J S 1948, Hailes Castle, East Lothian , Edinburgh.

Robertson, A N 1952, 'Supplementary list of East Lothian dovecotes', Trans E Lothian Antiq Fld Natur Soc 5, 62.

Simpson, W D 1948, 'Hailes Castle', Trans E Lothian Antiq Fld Natur Soc 4, 1-10.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Hailes Castle

https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/hailes-castle

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About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at www.historicenvironment.scot.

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot. You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at designations@hes.scot.

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