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).
Amended on 11 June 2018 as follows:
- The scheduled monument extends up to but does not include boundary walls and fences.
- Specifically excluded (in addition to and amended from current exclusions) are:
- The top 300mm of all paths and gravel areas to allow for their maintenance;
- The above ground elements of all garden walls and steps, wooden walkways, timber-built structures, modern signage, floodlights, handrails and modern fixtures and fittings;
- The top 300mm of ground surface of the bowling green; and
- The top 600mm of ground surface of the north east garden.
- The plan annexed and executed as relative hereto is revised to take account of the above amendments.