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Defensive Structures (AD 1100–1800)

Hailes CastleThe importance of East Lothian and its rich farmland, as well as the proximity of Edinburgh and the border with England, have always made this a landscape which has been fought over. Powerful dynasties and some local families fortified their homes to protect their land or as a symbol of wealth and power.

The earliest castles were mottes, artificial mounds topped with a wooden tower, which were built in the 11th to 12th centuries.  Soon these were superseded by stone castles at sites like Tantallon, Dunbar, Dirleton and Hailes Castle.

Numerous tower houses dot the landscape of East Lothian, many of which have been incorporated into later mansions, such as Winton HouseLennoxlove House, and Nunraw House.

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