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The Chesters, Drem

Pit Alignment (Prehistoric)

Site Name The Chesters, Drem

Classification Pit Alignment (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Foster Law

Canmore ID 56323

Site Number NT57NW 49

NGR NT 50991 78570

NGR Description From NT 5098 7831 to NT 5096 7876

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NT57NW 49 5098 7831 to 5096 7876

See also NT57NW 1, NT57NW 47, NT57NW 51, NT57NW 65, NT57NW 114.

Scheduled (with NT57NW 41 and NT57NW 49 ) as Foster Law, pit alignment.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 16 December 1993.

The cropmarks of a closely spaced alignment of pits have been identified from aerial photographs to the W of The Chesters fort (NT57NW 1) and 350m WNW of Dalvreck farmsteading. The alignment runs in an N-S direction and is visible for about 470m from NT c.5098 7831 (adjacent to The Chesters) to NT c.5096 7876. The S half of the alignment is sinuous, whilst the more regular N half has only been recorded on recent aerial photographs (RCAHMSAP 1995). A series of pit-alignments has been recorded around The Chesters including NT57NW 46 and NT57NW 50 -52 and 114.

Information from RCAHMS (KB) 15 December 1999


Geophysical Survey (2012)

NT 504 782 – NT 506 784 (approx) The Chesters, Drem (SAM 90072) is one of the best preserved Iron Age hillforts in Scotland and is protected both by scheduling and as a PIC. However, the upstanding remains form just one element of an extensive Iron Age landscape evidenced by cropmarks identified through many years of aerial survey. Most notably, these comprise an extensive series of pit alignments which appear to reflect a cohesive system of land division potentially extending up to 5km2, and reaching as far as neighbouring hillforts at Kae Heughs (NT57NW 23) and Hanging Craig (NT57NW 89). Our project involves geophysical evaluation of these landscapes using a range of integrated and complementary techniques including standard fluxgate gradiometry and earth resistance survey. We also trialled two novel techniques currently under development and not previously used to any extent in Scotland: electrical resistivity tomography and electromagnetic survey. Gradiometry was used as the baseline technique to recover broad scale information and give wide coverage across the sites, with other techniques being used in targeted areas based on initial results and detailed field inspection.

Results from work in September 2012 were generally positive and identified the cropmark features in most areas. Several new features have been identified, including at least one probable barrow, but more significant perhaps is the new data retrieved relating to the micro-topography of the pit alignment systems and the detailed relationships between these archaeological features and the local geology.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended). Reports: East Lothian SMR and RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

Ian Armit, University of Bradford

Chris Gaffney,

Tom Sparrow,

Finn Pope-Carter,



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