Please note: Due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak we are currently closed.
North Berwick Law, Whale Bone Arch
For copyright information please contact ELC Archaeology Service
- HER number: MEL3410
- Site Name: North Berwick Law, Whale Bone Arch
- Grid Reference: 355634 684235
- Civil Parish:
- Summary: Arch made of whale's jawbones, from at least 1709
- Description: (1) A set of whale's jawbones, forming an arch, has existed on the summit of the Law since at least as early as 1709. These are reported to have been replaced by Sir Hew Dalrymple eighty years later. The 1789 set, in turn, was replaced around the middle of the 19th century. Blown down in 1933, these were superseded by the present jawbones, erected in 1935.
(2) (3) In August 2006 and July 2007, East Lothian Council Archaeology Service undertook recording on the summit of North Berwick Law after removal of the whale bone arch. The whale bone arch had become unsafe and was therefore removed by East Lothian Council. Biddy Simpson recorded the holes once the arch had been removed. No archaeological remains were identified. The attached photographs show the arch just before the bones were removed.
See attached for article by Nicholas Redman in East Lothian Life (SEL3641).
The whale bone arch has now been replaced by a replica, based on a cast from the last pair.
- For more information contact: East Lothian Council HER
- Related Places:
- Bibliographic reference: Simpson, B. 2007c. 'North Berwick Law Whalebone Arch, East Lothian (North Berwick parish), site appraisal', Discovery and Excavation, Scotland, 8, 2007, 74, Cathedral Communications Limited, Wiltshire, England.. 74.
- (1) Unpublished document: Lowe, C and Dalland, M. 2001. North Berwick Law, East Lothian: An Archaeological Survey.
- (2) Article in serial: Redman, N. 2006. 'North Berwick Law', East Lothian Life, issue 55 spring 2006, p. 28-9.
- (3) Digital archive: Simpson, B. 2007. Whalebone Arch, North Berwick Law, East Lothian; Archaeological Recording.
- (3) Unpublished document: Simpson, B. 2007. Whalebone Arch, North Berwick Law, East Lothian; Archaeological Recording.
- (4) Bibliographic reference: Redman, N. 2004. Whales' Bones of the British Isles.