Skip to content
Scheduled Monument

You can download copies of legal documents. These are the documents that must be used to determine what is scheduled.

Dirleton Castle, Dovecot and GardensSM90096

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions.



  • Category: N/A
  • Date Added: 30/11/1981
  • Last Date Amended: 10/02/2003
  • Type: Secular: castle; doocote, dovecote, pigeon loft; garden


  • Local Authority: East Lothian
  • Parish: Dirleton

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NT 51560 83946
  • Coordinates: 351560, 683946


The monument consists of the remains of Dirleton Castle with its associated dovecot, gardens and ancillary structures.

The castle dates from the 13th century and was founded by the de Vaux family. It was enlarged by the Halyburton family in the 14th and 15th centuries, with the construction of a splendid new gatehouse and hall range. The final major phase in its construction was the building of the Ruthven lodging in the late 16th century. Dirleton was besieged as part of General Monck's campaign in southern Scotland in 1650. It was abandoned as a fine residence after the Dirleton estate was bought by the Nisbet family in 1663, and built Archerfield House only about 1km away, NW of Dirleton. However, Dirleton continued to play a role in the Archerfield estate and, in the 19th century, the gardens were laid out once more as pleasure grounds.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in shape and measures approximately 210m E-W by 175 N-S, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The boundary wall, which defines the monument, is included in the scheduling. The principal exlusions from the scheduling include: all timber-built structures in the grounds; the boundary wall abutting the clubhouse of the Bowling Club; all the above-ground structures in the area of the works yard in the SE corner of the grounds; and the top 600mm of ground surface in the NE garden (this is the area shaded green on the accompanying map).


Historic Environment Scotland Properties

About Designations

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


There are no images available for this record.

Printed: 22/04/2018 15:20