East Lothian has a wealth of archaeological remains spanning from the early prehistoric period through to (and including) the Second World War.

The oldest hunter-gatherer house in Scotland was discovered close to Dunbar in 2002 in advance of quarrying work. Excavations revealed that it dates to approximately 8,300 BC, making it one of the oldest sites in Scotland. East Lothian is well known for its large number of archaeological crop mark sites, particularly from the prehistoric period. However, there are also plenty of upstanding remains to be seen.

Laws and churches

Traprain Law and North Berwick Law, which dominate the lower plains of the county, are just two of a large number of fantastic hill forts in the area.

East Lothian also has a huge number of churches, many of which date back to the medieval period. Together with place name evidence, historical literature and recent discoveries, these churches testify to the county's pivotal role in early medieval Christianity in Scotland.

Castles and tower houses

East Lothian boasts a number of fantastic medieval castles and tower houses. Tantallon Castle sits in a very dramatic location overlooking cliffs and Bass Rock, while Hailes Castle nestles by the side of the River Tyne and is overlooked by Traprain Law.

Battle sites

Some of the most important battle sites in Scotland are found in East Lothian, and they have survived remarkably intact. Plans are currently being developed to provide better access and interpretation to these important landscape sites.

Our agricultural and industrial past

The county has an extremely important agricultural and industrial past. It is home to some outstanding examples of agricultural steadings, many of which have been converted into residential homes.

Reminders of our industrial past can still be seen in old mills, lime kilns and industrial workings.

To find out more about the archaeology of East Lothian, visit the John Gray Centre website or search for sites on the Historic Environment Record