Scheduled Monument

Kilspindie Castle,castle and settlementSM5997

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Secular: castle
Local Authority
East Lothian
NT 46185 80010
346185, 680010


The monument comprises the remains of a castle of late sixteenth century date and an area of settlement around it dating from the Northumbrian and medieval periods.

The monument lies on the coast, on the N periphery of Aberlady in the field known as the Glebe. The castle is represented by its N wall which is visible for a length of some 11m and contains a door and gunloop, and by the return of its W wall. The N wall survives to a maximum height of approximately 2m. Elsewhere the masonry has been largely removed and the interior of the structure is under


Metal detecting over several years has recovered a rich assemblage of artefacts, the quantity and concentration of which suggest that settlement in this field dates back to the Northumbrian period and possibly earlier. A 2nd century AD fibula is the earliest datable find but it cannot by itself support an equally early date for the settlement.

By contrast finds from the Northumbrian period include a substantial assemblage of coins and metalwork far in excess of what might be expected from a series of stray finds. Additional material suggests continuous occupation between the late 1st millennium AD and the destruction of the castle in the seventeenth century.

The area to be scheduled encompasses the castle and the area around it in which the concentrations of artefactual material suggest that occupation has been focussed. It is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 240m ENE-WSW by 210m as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to add to our understanding of settlement in southern Scotland during the period of Northumbrian influence. The possibility of tracing the continuous development of settlement through the Northumbrian and medieval periods, without the overburden of subsequent buildings, makes this a site of considerable rarity and importance.



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 48 SE 3.

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

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 17/02/2019 16:56