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This building is in the East Lothian Council and the Dirleton Parish. It is a category A building and was listed on 05/02/1971.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NT 5160 8392.


Castle on rocky outcrop with sheer drop to W and N,

fosse to S, filled at E. 13th century origins by de Vaux

family, who built 2 round and a square ashlar towers to

S. SE entrance and E range rebuilt in 14th and

15th centuries by the Halyburtons. Minor additions by

Ruthven family in 16th century. Sandstone with some

freestone dressings.

S RANGE: 3 13th century towers. 2 circular with square

tower at centre. Triangular inner court. Masonry 10'

thick in places. Pointed vaults to polygonal chambers.

3 storeys originally.

SE ENTRY: timber ridge on rubble piers leading to tall

pointed arched gateway. Round arched inner and outer

gateways and portcullis chamber.

E RANGE: blank curtain walls pierced by minimal windows

to E. Barrel-vaulted chambers and bakehouse with Great

Hall and Kitchen. Chapel at N end with prison and pit


Additional remains in courtyard. Some notable carved

details remaining.

DOVECOT: 16th century, 4 tier, circular plan, beehive

dovecot, 30 yards N of castle. 21' in diameter, 25' high,

incorporated into earlier 19th century wall. String

courses dividing tiers with moulded billet course below

domed top. SW doorway with ashlar lintel. 2 buttresses,

coped where battered in.

CASTLE GATE: 16th century, round arched gateway to

Castlemains, in partial remains of rubble wall.

Quirk-edged roll moulding to surround to N, segmentally

arched embrasure to S. Bar-hole evident in E jamb.

TOWER: earlier 19th century circular, 2-storey stugged

sandstone ashlar tower, at W angle of boundary walls,

battered at base. Arrow slits. Paired pointed windows

to E with diamond pane glazing. Forestair to S serving

as porch to doorway below, with doorway above. String

course with water spouts, below crenellated gablet coped

parapet, bearing curved arrow slit details. Single

diminutive stack to NE behind parapet.


Earlier 19th century walls. Raised stugged

ashlar bays with gablet coping. Roll-moulded outer

surrounds, chamfered inners to hoodmoulded gateways.

Timber doors with yett grilles to upper panels. Rubble

walls, ashlar coped with 2 stugged ashlar courses and

gablet coping set above, bounding N and W of castle grounds.


Guardianship monument. Tower entrance gates and wall copings were part of Lady Elgin's "beautification" of Dirleton, bearing similar features in other parts of the village. The tower was deemed the most expensive "lamp standard". Scheduled Ancient Monument 90096. Re-scheduled Area - 10 February 2003.


Inventory 27. Ancient Monuments Guidebook, J S Richardson, C J Tabraham. S Cruden, THE SCOTTISH CASTLE 1981, pp 80-87 C McWilliam LOTHIAN 1978, pp 173-6. TRANSACTIONS of ELAFNS vol III 1934-8, p 9 T Wilson Fish, Ancient Dovecots of East Lothian. SRO RH15/70/4- contract for dovecot 1735.

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).