Dunbar Harbour, Lamer Island, Battery / Dunbar, Old Harbour, Cromwell's Harbour, Broadhaven
- HER number: MEL1550
- Site Name: Dunbar Harbour, Lamer Island, Battery / Dunbar, Old Harbour, Cromwell's Harbour, Broadhaven
- Grid Reference: 368109 679351
- Civil Parish:
- Monument Type:
- Battery (18th Century, Post Medieval)
- Summary: Battery built in 1781
- Description: NT67NE 53 6811 7934
See also NT67NE 18 and 147: this battery is situated between the two harbours at Dunbar.
(NT 6811 7934) Battery (NAT) (rems of)
OS 6" map (1971)
(1) (2) This fort was erected in 1781 to protect the town of Dunbar from sudden invasion but more particularly to protect it from privateers. The battery mounted sixteen guns of differing calibres which were removed to Edinburgh when the fort was dismantled at the end of the Peninsular War.
Name Book 1853; NSA 1845 (J Jaffray)
(3) The remains of this 18th century battery consist of a strong wall surrounding the site with an archway (with beam-holes in the jambs) to the W and embrasures for cannon in the other three sides. Internally the stone platforms for the guns and vaulted apartments are still visible and detail on the walls shows where roofed buildings had at one time abutted. The remains are in good condition.
Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (DT) 28 August 1962
(4) Historic Scotland Listed Building Description: Andrew Fraser 1781. D-plan bastion, rounded on NW coastal
side, small projection to S corner. Large squared sandstone
rubble in courses; some ovolo coping remaining. Arched,
central entrance to SW with alternating long and short
voussoirs. 16 pierced embrasure ornament openings.
INTERIOR: gun platform at higher level of yard, supported by
rubble walling from ramp areas. Barrel-vaulted basement-range
to SE corner. Former 2-storey house at S corner later
addition, now a shell; 2 embrasures altered for windows.
(6) The Battery, on Lamer Island, was built after an American ship had attempted to raid the harbour in 1781. It is a red-sandstone structure with an open gun-platform, embrasures for sixteen guns, and a covered magazine and quarters for the garrison.
A Graham 1971
(7) Fort erected in 1781. Generally as described in RCAHMS. The site was not visited because the swing bridge was open. However the remains appeared to be in good condition except for two walls extending from the main building to these which are eroding at the seaward end.
Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 1996.
(9) "Built in 1781, this battery was designed to protect Dunbar from invasion and from privateers. It comprises of a D-shaped bastion with an entrance to the SW and a gun platform, together with the remains of several buildings, inside. The site was used as a hospital in the late 19th and early 20th C. Parts of the seawalls are eroding and there is slight erosion of the interior ground surface, but in general, this site is in good condition. It is open to the public and has an information panel."
(10)(11) A programme of historic building recording work was required as part of a conservation plan for the development of Lamer Island as a visitor centre. The survey from 18 to 24 September 2007 identified that the D-shaped Battery underwent at least four phases of alteration as it developed from a late 18th-century m ilitary battery fortification into an invalid hospital for soldiers during the First World War. Many of the footings and features of its military life were present, although often in a fragmented form. All standing remains of the hospital structure have b een removed, although the presence of a central drain and channels for iron framing are still visible in the fabric of the building.
An archaeological evaluation was also required and investigated a total area of 59m2 on the island. A number of previously unknown structural archaeological remains were recorded, such as a blocked-off passageway or guardroom and stone settings for a wooden gantry or platform. The original floor surface of the upper level of the battery was recognised. An exterior cottage st ructure was also investigated.
Archive to be deposited with RCAHMS.
Funder: Dunbar Harbour Trust.
Rob Engl and Suzanne Lilley, 2007.
(12) In 2016, AOC Archaeology Group was commissioned by the Dunbar Harbour Trust to undertake an archaeological watching brief on the excavation of the former medieval battery of Lamer Island in Dunbar East Lothian, prior to and during consolidation works on the site. The work follows on from a Conservation Plan undertaken by AOC in 2007 and a test pit survey undertaken in June 2016 which discovered a series of wall foundations, flagstone floors and formation levels together with some 18th and 19th century pottery sherds. An element of historic building recording was also undertaken of the exposed vaults building, which was discovered after the removal of blocking of the main entrance to it to the SE side of the battery. The excavations also uncovered the base of the previously obscured walls to the centre of the battery as well as the small room to the south corner of the battery.
- For more information contact: East Lothian Council HER
- Related Interventions:
- Related Places:
- Associated Periods:
- Digital archive: Oleksy, V, Engl, R and Lilley, S. 2008. Lamer Island Battery, Dunbar, East Lothian: Conservation Management Plan.
- (1) Bibliographic reference: Name Book (County). Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey. Book No.34, 58.
- (10) Bibliographic reference: Engl and Lilley, R and S. 2007a. 'Lamer Island Battery, East Lothian (Dunbar parish), excavation', Discovery and Excavation, Scotland, 8, 2007, 70, Cathedral Communications Limited, Wiltshire, England.. 70.
- (11) Digital archive: Oleksy, V, Engl, R and Lilley, S. 2008. Lamer Island Battery, Dunbar, East Lothian: Conservation Management Plan.
- (12) Unpublished document: Marot, A. 2017. Lamer Island, Dunbar, East Lothian: Archaeological Watching Brief and Historic Building Recording Report.
- (2) Bibliographic reference: NSA. 1845. The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy. Vol.2 (Haddington), 75?
- (3) Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Site Visit.
- (4) Bibliographic reference: Historic Scotland. Historic Scotland Listed Building.
- (5) Bibliographic reference: Baldwin, J. 1997. Edinburgh, Lothians and the Borders, 2nd edition. 71. No. 14.
- (6) Bibliographic reference: Graham, A. 1971. 'Archaeological notes on some harbours in eastern Scotland', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 101 1968-9, p.200-85.
- (7) Unpublished document: James, H F. 1996. Coastal Assessment Survey: The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Border of Fife. 220.
- (8) Bibliographic reference: Graham, A. 1968. 'The old harbours of Dunbar', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 99 1966-7, p.173-90.
- (9) Unpublished document: Moore, H and Wilson, G. 2006. Report on Coastal Zone Assessment Survey: East Lothian and Scottish Borders. site no. 127.