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Bathgate Castle

Castle (Medieval), Earthwork (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Bathgate Castle

Classification Castle (Medieval), Earthwork (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 47768

Site Number NS96NE 7

NGR NS 9807 6805

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/47768

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council West Lothian
  • Parish Bathgate
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District West Lothian
  • Former County West Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NS96NE 7 9807 6805

(NS 9807 6805) Bathgate Castle (NR) (site of)

OS 1:10000 map (1973)

Walter, High Steward of Scotland, had one of his principal residences at Bathgate, where he died in 1328. Some traces of his mansion may be seen in the middle of a bog or loch about 1/4 mile from the town. Hewn stones have frequently been dug from the foundations, and some kitchen-utensils of copper or brass have been found. Several cists have lately been ploughed up in the adjacent grounds. Some of them contained "copper coins" (more probably fragments of bronze implements).

OSA 1791

The site of this castle is located in low ground SE of Bathgate, and is indicated by an approximately oblong swell of the ground. The ditches which formed the moat and what appears to have been the entrance and probably a drawbridge are still traceable on the E. Hardly a vestige of the castle foundations now remains.

Name Book 1856

A grass-covered mound, 2.0m - 3.0m in height, denotes the site of Bathgate Castle. The lay-out of a golf course tends to despoil the outline, but there are two distinct ditches visible, curving round the E perimeter of the mound. The bank formed between them averages 0.6m in height, spread to a width of 8.0m. The inner ditch, which is very shallow, averages 2.0m across. A causeway, 8.0m broad, emerges on the E side. The top of the mound itself is undulating, and no building foundations are to be seen. Part of the bank and ditches on the N side has been cut away by the construction of railway sidings.

Although low-lying, much of this ground contains numerous hillocks (see also NS96NE 11).

No information was found regarding the cists mentioned in the Statistical Account (OSA), but see NS96NE 10.

Visited by OS (JLD) 17 February 1953

The site of this castle is generally as described.

Revised at 1:1250.

Visited by OS (BS) 9 August 1974

Bathgate Castle, the centre of the barony that had formed part of the dowry of Marjory Bruce on her marriage with Walter Stewart, appears to have remained undeveloped in the later Middle Ages, and it is questionable to what extent this seat was occupied after Walter's death in 1327.

G Stell 1980

Castle Earthworks, Bathgate Castle: Photographed by the RCAHMS in 1980.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Activities

Field Visit (17 February 1953)

A grass-covered mound, 2.0m - 3.0m in height, denotes the site of Bathgate Castle. The lay-out of a golf course tends to despoil the outline, but there are two distinct ditches visible, curving round the E perimeter of the mound. The bank formed between them averages 0.6m in height, spread to a width of 8.0m. The inner ditch, which is very shallow, averages 2.0m across. A causeway, 8.0m broad, emerges on the E side. The top of the mound itself is undulating, and no building foundations are to be seen. Part of the bank and ditches on the N side has been cut away by the construction of railway sidings.

Although low-lying, much of this ground contains numerous hillocks (see also NS96NE 11).

No information was found regarding the cists mentioned in the Statistical Account (OSA), but see NS96NE 10.

Visited by OS (JLD) 17 February 1953

Field Visit (9 August 1974)

The site of this castle is generally as described.

Revised at 1:1250.

Visited by OS (BS) 9 August 1974

Publication Account (1980)

Bathgate Castle, the centre of the barony that had formed part of the dowry of Marjory Bruce on her marriage with Walter Stewart, appears to have remained undeveloped in the later Middle Ages, and it is questionable to what extent this seat was occupied after Walter's death in 1327.

G Stell 1980

Aerial Photography (1980)

Castle Earthworks, Bathgate Castle: Photographed by the RCAHMS in 1980.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Aerial Photography (1983)

Aerial Photography (1984)

References

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