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Dirleton Castle

This sturdy castle was raised in the 13th century, probably on the remains of an earlier fortress by the Anglo-Norman de Vaux family. Originally built of earth and timber, John de Vaux rebuilt the castle in stone. The principle building being the impressive three storey round drum keep. In the 14th and 15th centuries the castle was considerably enlarged, to include a chapel with a pit prison underneath, hewn out of solid rock. Built on a rocky outcrop with walls 6 fee thick and with flanking towers around its perimeter, Dirleton was believed to be impervious to the stone-throwing siege engines of the 13th century.

History of Dirleton Castle

1298 ~ Dirleton is besiged by an English army led by Bishop Anthony Bek, only when a large siege engine become available is the castle finally captured.

1306 ~ Ayner de Valance is ordered to seize the castle and hand it over to the brother of John de Kyneston.

1311 ~ The castle is retaken by the Scottish army of Robert Bruce. Parts of the castle are dismantled to render it useless by the English.

1363 ~ The repaired castle is seized by William, Earl of Douglas. The castle passes to the Haliburton family. (more in the History section)

Text by Fred Vincent