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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 774019

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NT48SE 3 4617 8004.

(NT 4617 8004) Kilspindie Castle (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map (1968)

The remains of Kilspindie Castle, which dates to the late 16th century, consist of some 33' of the N wall, which stands to a height of 7', and the return of the W wall.


The overgrown remains are as described. The walls are some 0.8m thick and stands to a height of 1.5m.

Visited by OS (SFS) 21 July 1975

NT 461 800. The remains of the 16th century castle lie in a field known as the Glebe or Butcher's Field N of Aberlady. A gradiometer survey was carried out to attempt to produce a context for finds recovered from the topsoil.

A number of features of archaeological interest were detected, including possible structures, enclosures, clusters of pits and isolated examples as well as two rows which seem to define an 'avenue', as well as anomalies of unknown function. Any suggestions as to dating of the features would be premature, although it is probable that at least two phases of activity are represented. Letters on the interpretative plot (fig.20) refer to the more detailed description of the survey present in a report lodged with the NMRS.

It is hoped to carry out a resistivity survey on the area. This should produce a more definte picture of any buried structural remains that lie within the field.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

T Neighbour, W Shaw and E Cavanagh 1995.

An 8m section of the north wall is all that remains of this castle. This wall is 1m thick and stands 1.60m high and is composed of dressed sandstone pointed with a light grey mortar. One gun loop and two doorways remain in this section. A 20m line of rubble stretches to the east of the wall. The castle stands in a rough grass pasture which has been ploughed in the past. The rubble may be a clearance cairn produced by ploughing. The remaining section of the castle is threatened by two trees growing by the walls and by rabbits burrowing beneath it. The field around this castle has produced a considerable range of finds. There are coins, strap ends and an enamelled mount, all of Anglian type, and the terminal of a Scoto/Irish crosier. Much medieval and later material including coins and pot sherds has also been found. The neighbouring field has also produced medieval material. Information from David Caldwell, National Museums of Scotland.

Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 20th February 1996.

NT 461 800. The remains of the 16th-century castle (NMRS NT48SE 3) lie in Glebe Field, N of Aberlady. A resistivity survey, complementing an earlier gradiometer survey (Neighbour, Shaw and Cavanagh 1995), was carried out in order to establish the position and nature of any settlement within the field.

Several features of archaeological interest were detected and at least three phases of activity are clearly present within the survey area. The latest features include the possible remains of an enclosure. Earlier features include the remains of two timber halls (one overlying the other at right angles) of possible Anglian or earlier date; a series of ditch-defined enclosures of probable Anglian morphology; a roughly pear-shaped enclosure (within which there appears to be a double palisade line); and annular features which appear to be the footings of ring-groove houses.

A full report has been lodged with the NMRS.

W Tulloch and C Davies 1998.

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