NT 515-840 East Lothian Scotland
Dirleton Castle is a mid 13th century stone enclosure fortress, founded by John de Vaux. Standing on a rocky knoll, originally a cluster of five towers with an imposing cylindrical keep on the south-west corner, were encased by a wet ditch. During the Wars of Independence with England, the castle was besieged and captured in 1298, by the army of King Edward I under Bishop Beck. When it was recaptured by the Scots in 1311, the towers were dismantled after Robert the Bruce ordered it to be slighted. John Haliburton rebuilt the castle in 1356 and added to the east side of the courtyard, a gatehouse and a residential tower with a great hall, chapel and pit-prison. Owned by the Ruthven family in 1650, the castle was captured and badly damaged, after being subjected to the artillery of Cromwell’s commander in Scotland, General Monck. When purchased by John Nisbet in 1663 he abandoned the castle but started the development of the gardens we see today. 2 miles south-east is Fenton Tower and 3 miles east is Castle Hill.
Dirleton Castle is located in the village centre, off the B1345. 21 miles north-east of Edinburgh, on the A1-A198.
The site is owned by Historic Scotland and is open daily, April to September 9:30-5:30pm, October to March 9:30-4:30pm.
There is a car park nearby.