NT 678-793 East Lothian Scotland
Dunbar Castle was originally a Native British promontory fort, which was defended in part, by a north to south ditch. In the 12th century, a stone keep and courtyard fortress was founded on the site, by the Cockspatrick family. This important castle was captured by the army of King Edward I in 1297 and King Edward II sheltered here in 1314. In 1487 it was seized by the Scottish Crown and parliament ordered it to be slighted in 1488, only for King James IV to construct a late 15th century gatehouse and courtyard castle, on this bold and exposed site. In the early 16th century, John Stewart, duke of Albany added an isolated octagonal Blockhouse with wide-mouthed gun-ports, which was accessed by a connecting passage. In 1558 the castle was reported has being old and full of old buildings but it was refortified by Scotland's French allies with earth and stone, only to be destroyed in 1560. Queen Mary was held here by James Hepburn, earl of Bothwell and after she fled to England its demolition was ordered. In the 19th century much of the ruin was demolished to build a new harbour and now there are only incomplete remains, scattered over the isolated rocks. 7 miles west is Hailes Castle and 7 miles north-west is Whitekirk.