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 designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

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 8914 or at


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Printed: 21/05/2019 14:43