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Scheduled Monument

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

Kilspindie Castle,castle and settlementReference: SM5997

Status: Designated


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  • Category: N/A
  • Date Added: 23/05/1994
  • Type: Secular: castle


  • Local Authority: East Lothian
  • Parish: Aberlady

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNT 461 799
  • Coordinates346100, 679900


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 Designations

Scheduled Monuments

We compile, maintain and publish a Schedule (a list) of monuments of national importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. Scheduling is the process of adding monuments to this list and affording them statutory protection. The aim of scheduling is to preserve sites and monuments as far as possible in the form in which they have come down to us today. Once a monument is scheduled, the prior written consent of ourselves is required for most works including repairs.

The information provided gives an indication of the cultural significance of a scheduled monument. The information is current to the date of designation or when last amended. This record is not intended to be a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s) and the format of records has changed over time. Earlier, un-amended records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

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