Dunbar, Castle Park

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Alternative Names Splash Leisure Pool; Lauderdale House; Dunbar Castle Park; Db09
Canmore ID 257299
Site Number NT67NE 141.04
NGR NT 6783 7912
Former Region LOTHIAN
Former District EAST LOTHIAN
Former County EAST LOTHIAN
Datum OSGB36 - NGR
NGR Desc NGR centred on 6783 7912

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Archaeological Notes

NT67NE 141.04 centred on 6783 7912

See also NT67NE 141.02 and NT67NE 141.05

Machine trenching for field drains in front of Lauderdale House uncovered a cemetery composed of long cists and inhumations. A watching brief and limited excavation of graves in the way of field drains was undertaken.
One complete cist skeleton was recovered together with eight partial cist skeletons and four partial skeletons from inhumations. Some 16 other cist and 15 other inhumations were observed in the sides of the trenches. A large quantity of other human bone was recovered. Two sherds of medieval pottery and two corroded metal fragments were found with fully excavated cist skeleton whose skull was protected by a bax formed by two flanking stones and a small capstone. One other skull-flanking stone was observed in section in a cist destroyed by machining.
Subsequently, Scottish Power, while digging a trench for a cable in the road at the entrance to Castle Park, uncovered other human bone and a possible cist.
This cemetery is probably associated with the burials and human bones further E noted previously during the development of the site as a leisure complex. (NT67NE 141.02).
Sponsor: Historic Scotland
D Perry 1993.

This site falls within the area scheduled as Dunbar Castle Park.
Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 20 April 1994.

Limited excavation was undertaken on this site in advance of development. A long cist and inhumation cemetery was uncovered, comprising 25 long cist burials, and 19 inhumations. Long cist cemeteries usually date between the 4th to 9th centuries AD.
Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife'1996.

NT 6785 7916 A watching brief was undertaken by CFA Archaeology Ltd in June 2006. The renewal of external lighting involved the the replacement of eight lamp posts immediately to the north of Lauderdale House and a further thirteen lamp-posts within the Dunbar Leisure Pool car park. During groundbreaking works, human remains were encountered. Apart from the human remains, most of the artefacts retrieved during the fieldwork were probably related to 19th- and 20th-century landscaping and gardening activity.
Sponsor: CableCom Electrical Ltd per East Lothian Council.
Sue Anderson, 2007

NT 6785 7916 Human remains were uncovered during the excavation of two slot trenches for the replacement of lampposts at Castle Park (NT67NE 141) in June 2006. This was brought to the attention of East Lothian Council Archaeological Service and Historic Scotland, who requested the hand-sieving of the loose soil from the slot trenches in which the human remains were uncovered and a watching brief on all subsequent ground-breaking work. The watching brief led to the recovery of two additional fragments of bone.
Archive to be deposited with NMRS and East Lothian SMR.
Sponsor: CableCom Electrical Ltd
M Kirby, 2006.

May 2009 to July 2009

Notes NT 6785 7916 Repairs to car park lighting were carried out May–July 2009 in the scheduled area associated with Dunbar Castle Park (SAM 5960). The work involved the re-excavation of a number of trenches to allow the replacement of electrical cable. During the course of the watching brief a number of fragments of disarticulated human bone were recovered. These were presumably derived from disturbed burials
belonging to the known early medieval cemetery in the area. The remains were reburied on site.
Archive: East Lothian SMR and RCAHMS
Magnus Kirby – CFA Archaeology Ltd

Further details

External Links

East Lothian Historic Environment Record

Books and References

Kirby, M (2006d) 'Castle Park, Dunbar, East Lothian (Dunbar parish), watching brief / recovery of human bone', Discovery Excav Scot, vol.7 Dorchester
Page(s): 60

Kirby, M (2009c) 'Dunbar Leisure Pool, Castle Park, Dunbar, East Lothian (Dunbar parish), watching brief', Discovery Excav Scot, New, vol.10 Cathedral Communications Limited, Wiltshire, England.
Page(s): 65

Perry, D (1993) 'Castle Park, Dunbar (Dunbar parish): long cist cemetery', Discovery Excav Scot
Page(s): 55

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Charity SC026749