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Dirleton Castle, Walled Garden

Walled Garden (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Dirleton Castle, Walled Garden

Classification Walled Garden (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 81592

Site Number NT58SW 1.04

NGR NT 51527 83923

NGR Description Centred on NT 51527 83923

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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


Trial Trench (1992 - 1993)

A limited survey based on twelve trial trenches was carried out in 1992-3 on the W garden at Dirleton Castle in advance of restoration. The main aims of the fieldwork were to (a) identify the E limits of the garden c1875 and (b) generally confirm the design of the 19th-century design as interpreted from contemporary illustration.

Clear evidence was ultimately found of how residual elements (plants and earthworks) from the probable late 16th-century formal garden dictated the style and limits of the 19th-century design.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

G Ewart 1992; 1993.

Excavation (21 January 1997)

NT 5152 8386 The excavation, by Kirkdale Archaeology, of service pipe trenches were cut through well-worked humic soil, with a distinctive brown (clay-rich) character. This deposit was clearly introduced, and may well reflect the terraces thought to have been created during the 16th-century formal privy garden phase, still in evidence within the parterre and yew-tree planting. This is confirmed by the fact that the deposit underlay the 18th-century estate/garden wall (Archerfield House). The depth of the earthwork was uncertain, but it clearly projected beyond the limits of the garden area as defined by the 18th-century wall.

Recent excavations in the N and W gardens confirmed the presence of a complex post-medieval layout beneath the landscaping of the 18th and 19th centuries. The landscaping had served to reduce the originally steeper earthworks of the earlier layout.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

G Ewart 1997


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