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Redhouse Dean

Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Redhouse Dean

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Spittal

Canmore ID 54885

Site Number NT47NE 27

NGR NT 46700 76362

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Aberlady
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian


Note (3 December 2015 - 20 October 2016)

Cropmarks have revealed a fort on the gently sloping ground above the natural escarpment forming the E flank of Redhouse Dean. D-shaped on plan, its defences comprise an arc of three or four ditches between 4m and 8m in breadth backing onto the escarpment on the W to enclose an area measuring about 115m from N to S along the chord by up to 55m transversely (0.48ha); allowing for the presence of an inner rampart the interior extends to about 0.36ha. Rather than being strictly concentric, however, ditch two lies eccentrically between the innermost ditch, ditch one, and the outer pair, suggesting that the palimpsest revealed by the cropmarks is the result of a complex sequence of construction. In detail, the outer pair, ditches three and four, are concentric and presumably contemporary, but around the the NE there is little evidence of any gap for a rampart between the inner of them and ditch two, so much so that in places they form one broad mark some 13m in breadth. On the SE, however, ditch two diverges, and though its precise line is obscured by the field boundary, its projected course sees it converging, and possibly merging with the innermost ditch. The cropmarks on the photographs currently available are too diffuse in the critical sectors to clarify these relationships, but if they are confirmed by fieldwork they suggest a sequence of at least three phases, represented respectively by the innermost ditch, ditch two, and the outer pair. The precise layout of the defences around a probable entrance on the NE is also unclear and there are no features can be discerned amongst the marks within the interior.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 20 October 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC3787


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