- HER number: MEL630
- Site Name: Kilspindie Castle
- Grid Reference: 346169 680039
- Civil Parish:
- Monument Type:
- Castle (Medieval)
- Building (Early Medieval)
- Summary: Remains of a castle, 16th century, surrounded by settlement remains, including timber halls, of probable Anglian date
- Description: NT48SE 3 4617 8004.
(NT 4617 8004) Kilspindie Castle (NR) (remains of)
OS 6" map (1968)
(1) The remains of Kilspindie Castle, which dates to the late 16th century, consist of some 33' of the N wall, which stands to a height of 7', and the return of the W wall.
The overgrown remains are as described. The walls are some 0.8m thick and stands to a height of 1.5m.
Visited by OS (SFS) 21 July 1975
(2) (7) NT 461 800. The remains of the 16th century castle lie in a field known as the Glebe or Butcher's Field N of Aberlady. A gradiometer survey was carried out to attempt to produce a context for finds recovered from the topsoil.
A number of features of archaeological interest were detected, including possible structures, enclosures, clusters of pits and isolated examples as well as two rows which seem to define an 'avenue', as well as anomalies of unknown function. Any suggestions as to dating of the features would be premature, although it is probable that at least two phases of activity are represented. Letters on the interpretative plot (fig.20) refer to the more detailed description of the survey present in a report lodged with the NMRS.
It is hoped to carry out a resistivity survey on the area. This should produce a more definte picture of any buried structural remains that lie within the field.
Sponsor: Historic Scotland
T Neighbour, W Shaw and E Cavanagh 1995.
(3) (8) NT 461 800. The remains of the 16th-century castle (NMRS NT 48 SE 3) lie in Glebe Field, N of Aberlady. A resistivity survey, complementing an earlier gradiometer survey (Neighbour, Shaw and Cavanagh 1995), was carried out in order to establish the position and nature of any settlement within the field.
Several features of archaeological interest were detected and at least three phases of activity are clearly present within the survey area. The latest features include the possible remains of an enclosure. Earlier features include the remains of two timber halls (one overlying the other at right angles) of possible Anglian or earlier date; a series of ditch-defined enclosures of probable Anglian morphology; a roughly pear-shaped enclosure (within which there appears to be a double palisade line); and annular features which appear to be the footings of ring-groove houses.
A full report has been lodged with the NMRS.
W Tulloch and C Davies 1998.
(4) Stones are being removed from the scheduled Kilspindie Castle, presumably by children. Site visit, B Simpson 18/10/2005.
(6) An 8m section of the north wall is all that remains of this castle. This wall is 1m thick and stands 1.60m high and is composed of dressed sandstone pointed with a light grey mortar. One gun loop and two doorways remain in this section. A 20m line of rubble stretches to the east of the wall. The castle stands in a rough grass pasture which has been ploughed in the past. The rubble may be a clearance cairn produced by ploughing. The remaining section of the castle is threatened by two trees growing by the walls and by rabbits burrowing beneath it. The field around this castle has produced a considerable range of finds. There are coins, strap ends and an enamelled mount, all of Anglian type, and the terminal of a Scoto/Irish crosier. Much medieval and later material including coins and pot sherds has also been found. The neighbouring field has also produced medieval material. Information from David Caldwell, National Museums of Scotland.
Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 20th February 1996.
(9) In April 2008 a gradiometer and resistance survey was carried out at the Butchers and Glebe Fields, Aberlady as part of the Aberlady Heritage Project. A narrow strip to the W of Glebe Field within Craigielaw Golf Course was also surveyed.The aims of the survey were to test whether archaeological remains continue beyond the Glebe Field Scheduled Area and to refine earlier geophysical results.
In Butchers Field a number of archaeological features were noted as well asa large geological channel. These included what appears to be a large ditched enclosure. Both resistance and magnetic survey identified a long linear anomaly, which relates to an old field system, with striping evident within this resistance relating to ploughing of the old field. Elsewhere many of the low resistance features may be interpreted as natural. The field was affected by substantial magnetic disturbance, which inhibited the ability to detect archaeological features.
Results from the area of possible Anglo-Saxon halls in the south of Glebe Field found two groups of anomalies. It is possible that one set of these these represents a large trench-defined and perhaps fenced enclosure as found associated with some Anglo Saxon structures. Alternatively these may be of different date. A second possible timber hall was suggested to lie immediately to the north, with parallels to Neolithic timber halls such as Lockerbie. A low resistance feature likely to be the remains of a ditch may be associated with this structure and appeared to at least partly enclose it.
- For more information contact: East Lothian Council HER
- Related Interventions:
- Related Places:
- Associated Periods:
- (1) Bibliographic reference: RCAHMS. 1924. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Eighth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of East Lothian. 4, No.4.
- (2) Bibliographic reference: Neighbour, Shaw and Cavanagh, T, W and E. 1995. 'Kilspindie Castle, Aberlady (Aberlady parish), gradiometer survey', Discovery Excav Scot 1995, p.48-49. 48-9. Fig 20.
- (3) Bibliographic reference: Tulloch and Davies, W and C. 1998. 'Kilspindie Castle, Aberlady (Aberlady parish), resistivity survey', Discovery Excav Scot 1998, p.32. 32.
- (4) Unpublished document: Simpson, B. 2005. Aberlady: Sites of Archaeological and Historical Interest.
- (5) Unpublished document: McWee, R. 2002. Finds at Aberlady and Kilspindie Castle.
- (6) Unpublished document: James, H F. 1996. Coastal Assessment Survey: The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Border of Fife. 168.
- (7) Unpublished document: Neighbour,T, Shaw, W and Cavanagh, E. 1995. Kilspindie Castle, Aberlady: Geophysical Survey, A Preliminary Report.
- (8) Unpublished document: Neighbour,T, Tulloch, B, and Davis, C. 1998. Kilspindie Castle, Aberlady: Geophysical Survey, A Preliminary Report.
- (9) Unpublished document: Blackwell, A. 2008. Geophysical Survey at Butchers and Glebe Fields, Aberlady: a preliminary report.