Please note: Due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak we are currently closed.
Battle Of Dunbar Ii
For copyright information please contact ELC Archaeology Service
- HER number: MEL1551
- Site Name: Battle Of Dunbar Ii
- Grid Reference: 369499 676500
- Civil Parish:
- Summary: Site of the Battle of Dunbar, 3rd September 1650
- Description: (1) NT67NE 54 695 765. (NT 703 767) Site of Battle of Dunbar (NR) 3rd September 1650. OS 6" map (1957)
Cromwell invaded Scotland in July 1650, after the Scots had ignored his appeal for support and had proclaimed Charles II King. Cromwell crossed the border and attempted to meet up with his fleet at Leith and again at Queensferry, but without success. He retreated to Dunbar where, in September of 1650, he was faced with a Covenanting army of over 20,000, led by David Leslie.
Assembled on Doune (Doon on the map) Hill, Leslie held the commanding position but over-zealous ministers, eager to attack, led the army down from the hill. They were defeated by the more experienced English army. Over 3,000 Scots were killed and nearly 10,000 captured.
(2) The Battle of Dunbar was fought between the Parliamentarians under Cromwell and the Covenanters under General Leslie, on the 3rd of September 1650. The Covenanters were defeated. The orthodox view is that the main action took place where the London road crosses the Brocksburn, at NT 6935 7724, but Firth, interpreting a pictorial plan of the battle based on information from participants, sites the main centre of conflict about a mile away, between the road and Doon Hill (NT 685 756) on which Generl Leslie had his camp (NT67NE 50). Firth's view is supported by The Statistical Account [OSA] recording of the local name as the Battle of Doon Hill and placing its centre north and east of the hill.
Despite the OS siting (Name Book 1853), the area around NT 695 765 would appear to be a more accurate siting for the battle.
C H Firth 1900; OSA 1794
(3) No further information. Visited by OS (RD) 22 March 1966
(4) (NT 696 765) Site of Battle of Dunbar (NR) OS 6" map (1971)
(5) Brander gives a description of the battle, and his plan confirms the OS siting (1971). M Brander 1975
(6) A desk based assessment of the battle of Dunbar was undertaken as part of a wider national battlefields appraisal, commissioned by Historic Scotland. The GIS polygon reflects the 'extended search area' of the assessment for this battlesite.
- For more information contact: East Lothian Council HER
- Related Places:
- Associated Periods:
- Bibliographic reference: OSA. 1791-9. The statistical account of Scotland, drawn up from the communications of the ministers of the different parishes. Vol.5, 456.
- Bibliographic reference: Name Book (County). Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey. Book No.35, 15.
- (2) Bibliographic reference: Firth, C H. 1900. 'Discussion of a plan of the Battle of Dunbar, c.1652 by Payne Fisher', Trans Roy Hist Soc (New) Vol. 14 1900, p.33. 19-52.
- (5) Bibliographic reference: Brander, M. 1975. Scottish and Border Battles and Ballads. 160-3.
- (6) Unpublished document: Foard, G and Partida, T. 2005. Scotland's Historic Fields of Conflict.