Dunbar East Lothian

Dunbar Attractions

East Lothian  

Dunbar is one of six towns in East Lothian and was part of Northumbria until 1018. Dunbar became a royal burgh in 1369. It has three harbours and is a fishing village with a long history going back to circa 850 AD. The Town grew around the Castle which was of strategic importance over the centuries. The Castle was destroyed in 1568 as many castles and important buildings were by the English led by Cromwell. The Town has a famous son who became the founder of the national parks in America and the John Muir Way is a route from Dunbar to Helensburgh of circa 134 miles which was the route taken by John Muir on his way to the ship that would take him to the new world.  

Dunbar High Street Dunbar East Lothian

Dunbar Castle 

Dunbar East Lothian 

Dunbar Castle, the First timber fort was occupied by the Votanidi tribe, a tribe that controlled the east of Scotland and England between the River Forth and Humber during the roman invasions. Then came Kenneth MacAlpin King of Pics and First King of Scots who owned the castle in 849 AD. Circa 1070 it was in the hands of the Earl of Cumbria. It was not until 1018 that Dunbar was in Scotland as the border was moved to the present position at that time.

Dunbar Castle Dunbar East Lothian.JPG

By circa 1200 it had become a substantial fortification and when King John attempted to take the castle in 1214 but failed.

The castle was lost to the English army of Edward I in 1296. The next 200 plus years saw the castle change hands between the Scots and English on several occasions and in this time it was almost destroyed.  In 1567 following the Battle of Carberry Hill, the castle was destroyed by an Act of Parliament, and has been a ruin ever since.

Dunbar Castle from Sea East Lothian

Dunbar Battery

Dunbar East Lothian

The battery was built to protect the entrance of the forth and Dunbar against attack from ships. Dunbar had been attacked on two occasions during the American War of Independence 1779 and 1781 so the battery was built. In 1914 became a hospital for wounded soldiers of the 1st World War. The roof was blown off in a storm in 1936 and demolished in 1937. Iit was renovated in 2016-17 and reopened in 2017.

Battery from sea rocks Dunbar East Lothian
Dunbar Harbour Battery East Lothian

The Timeline Path

Dunbar Battery

1781 The Battery is built to protect Dunbar against American Raiders.  1815 The military outpost is abandoned at the end of the wars with France. 1822 Gunfire from the Battery welcomes King George IV to Scotland. 1874 Am isolation hospital for infectious diseases is built within the walls. 1927 the hospital is converted into emergency housing.

1937 The hospital building is demolished after a storm and fire. 2017 the Battery reopens as a place for everyone to enjoy. The Door to Dunbar. For centuries the sea was the main way in and out of Dunbar.

Entrance to Dunbar Battery Dunbar East Lothian
Steps inside the Harbour Battery Dunbar East Lothian
Door to Dunbar Dunbar Harbour Battery East Lothian
Dunbar Harbour Battery For centuries the sea was the main way in and out of Dunbar
1781 The Battery is built to protect Dunbar against American Raiders.
1815 History of Dunbar Harbour Battery East Lothian
1822 Timeline Dunbar Harbour Battery East Lothian
1874 An isolation hospital for infectious diseases is built within the walls.
1927 Timeline Dunbar Harbour Battery East Lothian
1937 Timeline Dunbar Harbour Battery East Lothian
2017 Timeline Dunbar Harbour Battery East Lothian Open to Public

Inside of the Battery
Sea Cubes by Donald Urquhart

Cubes Sculpture Dunbar Battery Harbour East Lothian
Inside the Battery Cubes Sculpture Dunbar Battery Harbour East Lothian

Rock Formations 
View of the “Long Steeple” left Next “Round Steeple”
and the small group of three are “The Yetts” from the Battery.

View of the “Long Steeple” left Next “Round Steeple” and the small group of three are “The Yetts” from the Battery.

Robert Wilson  

Inventor of the Spiral Propeller 1827

Robert Wilson was born in September 1803. As a boy he developed  a method to propel boats through water at speed. His idea came from windmill blades, at nine years old he had propelled a boat with rotary skulls.

By the age of 24 he had boats being propelled on the River Forth. The Earl of Lauderdale seeing what he had achieved took his invention to the Admiralty, who showed no interest.

Robert Wilson was never recognised in his lifetime for his invention.

Pettit Smith and Ericsson are often credited but everyone knows the truth. 

Robert Wilson Spiral Propeller Dunbar Ea

Dunbar’s Harbours

The first harbour in Dunbar was at the mouth of the Biel Water in 1370. Cromwell Harbour built circa 1570 is where the ships landed with supplies for Cromwell’s army after Cromwell had taken Dunbar on the 3rd September 1650. He marched on Edinburgh and took the castle with his army barracked in Holyrood. Victoria Harbour opened in 1842.

Cromwell Harbour Dunbar East Lothian
Old Harbour Dunbar East Lothian
Victoria Harbour and Dunbar Castle

The Harbour Gate Dunbar

The gate between the old Harbour and Victoria Harbour  

Dunbar Harbour Bridge East Lothian

The Fisherman’s Monument

The Fisherman’s Monument was erected in 1856. It was dedicated to the fishermen of Dunbar and has a barometer on the front with a carrera marble carving of fisher folk at the harbour side. The monument stands at the land side of Cromwell Harbour Dunbar. The inscription reads; “Presented to the fishermen of Dunbar, to whose perilous industry the burgh owes so much of its prosperity”.  The carved relief depicts “A fisherman in his boat, while his wife points to the barometer below and begs him not to sail. In the boat an old women points to a dark cloudy sky, while two boys prepare to cast off”.

Thankyou to the Fishermen of Dunbar East Lothian
The Fishermen of Dunbar Monument East Lothian

The Fisherman’s Monument

The plaque on the harbour wall reads; “O weel, may the boatie row, That wins the Bairnie’s bread !”.

Extract from “The Boatie Rows” by John Ewen (1741-1821)

Oh weel may the boatie row | An muckle may she speed | Weel may the boatie row | That wins oor bairnies’ breid | The boatie rows, the boatie rows, | The boatie rows fu weel, | An’ muckle luck maintain the boat, | The murlin an the creel |  We dropped oor lines in Largo Bay |  An fishes we got nine, | There’s three t’ bile an three t’ fry, | An three t’ bait the line | When Sandy, Jock and Janetie | Are up an gotten lear | They’ll help t’ gar the boatie row | An lighten a’ oor cares
Oh weel may the boatie row | That fills a heavy creel | An helps t’ clad oor bairns an’ aa | An buys oor porridge meal. 
Meanings of some words: Gar: make Lear: learning Murlin: a round narrow-mouthed basket used by fishermen

Fishermans Memorial Plaque Dunbar East Lothian

Dunbar Artillery

The Gun on the hill overlooking Dunbar Harbour is a 25 Pounder Q F Mark II gun which was the type used to fire the signal at Edinburgh Castle daily at One O’clock until the 30th of November 2001. It was then changed to a more modern gun. The Dunbar gun has been on the hill as a memorial to the Second World War since 2005. The Canon from circa 1600 that helped to protect the Castle from the English.

One O'clock Gun Dunbar Artillery East Lothian
Cannon Dunbar Harbour Battery Dunbar East Lothian

Dunbar Town House Museum

The Dunbar town house museum and gallery has a distinctive tower and clock and has been the centre of Dunbar life since circa 1530. The building previously the Tolbooth (jail and courthouse) was built in the early to mid-16th century. The building now house the museum and gallery telling the story of Dunbar back through the centuries. Outside you can see the old Mercat Cross which stood across the road. On the corner of the High Street and West Port.  There is also a statue of Dunbar’s’ famous John Muir who was born in Dunbar in 1838.

Dunbar, Pennsylvania  Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/Dunbar-Pennsylvania.html

Dunbar Mercat Cross

The original mercat cross stood at the High Street junction with West Port the setts make a black cross in the road where the cross once stood. It was removed in the 18th century. Part of the present cross was discovered in the garden of a local bank. It was rebuilt with other stones and erected here in 1912 at the Town house museum.

Dunbar Mercat Cross Plaque Dunbar East Lothian
Dunbar Mercat Cross Plaque Dunbar East Lothian
Dundar Mercat Cross original position Dnbar High Street Dunbar East Lothian

John Muir Statue Dunbar East Lothian

The inscription on the plaque reads;

“Around my native town of Dunbar, I loved to wander in the fields, to hear the birds sing and along the seashore to gaze and wonder at the shells and seaweeds, eels and crabs in the pools amongst the rocks when the tide was low; and best of all to watch the waves in awful storms thundering on the black headlands and craggy ruins of the Old Dunbar Castle when the sea and the sky, the waves and the clouds, were mingled together as one”.

John Muir Statue Dunbar East Lothian
John Muir Statue Plaque Dunbar East Lothian

John Muir Birthplace Museum

Dunbar East Lothian

John Muir born 1838 died 1914 became the Father of American national parks and champion of world conservation and forever a Scot. The John Muir Way is a path stretching from coast to coast across Scotland. The route traces his steps from Dunbar on the east coast to Helensburgh on the west coast. Where he embarked on his journey to the new land (America). Follow his route from Edinburgh to Dunbar on the shores of the Firth of Forth ( Edinburgh to Prestonpans 16 km (10 miles) Prestonpans to North Berwick 25 km (16 miles) North Berwick to Dunbar 23 km (15 miles).

John Muir's Birthplace Museum Dunbar East Lothian

Lauderdale House (Dunbar House)

Dunbar House a Georgian house that stand at the end of Dunbar High Street was built (1734) by James Fall. James a wealthy merchant and Baillie of Dunbar for 8 years and Member of Parliament from 1731 -1743. After his death his son Robert took charge of the family business and through bad judgement was sequestrated in 1788. This allowed the Earl of Lauderdale to take control the house and lands. The central body of the house was the original build and the two wings and central pillars were an extension to the house, which were made by the Earl of Lauderdale in 1792 and designed by Robert Adam. In 1859 taken by the Government for the Haddingtonshire Militia.

Lauderdale House Dunbar East Lothian

Wesleyan Chapel Dunbar

The Wesleyan Chapel in Dunbar is the oldest Methodist Church in Scotland. The Church inscription states it was erected in 1764 and that John Wesley preached her around that time. The first Methodist preacher to be appointed to Dunbar was William Ellis, in 1766.

Wesleyan Chapel Dunbar East Lothian

Jubilee Fountain

Dunbar East Lothian

The cast iron Jubilee Fountain is to commemorate the official inauguration of a new water supply to Dunbar on 14th March 1896. The Jubilee Fountain named, due to 1897 to be Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, stood in Bayswell Park.

The fountain was moved to its present position and replaced by a gas light and horse trough.

Jubilee Fountain Dunbar East Lothian
Dunbar Jubilee Fountain Plaque Dunbar East Lothian

Creel Loaders Statue

Dunbar East Lothian

Creel Loaders relate to the two men that had to put the baskets (creel) on the back of the fish wives who would carry it as far as the border towns to sell the catch. This was in addition to looking after their children and cleaning the fish before selling it.

Creel loaders Statue Dunbar East Lothian
Creel loaders Statue Dunbar East Lothian

Girl with Swan Statue

Dunbar East Lothian

The statue of a girl with a swan was unveiled in 1998 and can be found outside Lauderdale House in Dunbar.

By Fife sculptor David Annand,

Girl with Swan Statue Dunbar East Lothian

Dr Thomas Reginald Badger 

Dunbar East Lothian

Tom Badger served as a doctor with RNLI in Dunbar for 26 years and was a local GP for 30 years. Sadly he died in August 2010, and a memorial bench has been built in his memory overlooking the Victoria Harbour and Dunbar Castle. The Dunbar Lifeboat Station was Established in 1808 and has saved many lives and has had many honours bestowed upon it. A man that served his community and others for a lifetime.  

Tom Badger RNLI Doctor Dunbar East Lothian
RNLI Lifeboat Station and Shop Dunbar East Lothian

Dunbar Memorial Obelisk

Dunbar East Lothian

The Obelisk was erected to honour the Lothians and Berwickshire Yeomanry and their participation in the Second Boer War (1899-1902). It also honours the Yeomanry that fell in the First World War (1914-1918) Second World War (1939-1945). The National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle has records of all the fallen in the wars. 

Dunbar Memorial Obelisk Dunbar East Lothian

Dunbear Sculpture

Dunbar East Lothian

The DunBear named by a Student from Dunbar in a competition is also the spelling of Dunbar previously. 

This five-metre steel sculpture is one of many by the artist Andy Scott.

The Bear is a tribute to the naturalist John Muir who was born in Dunbar East Lothian .

The Bear now stands on the main road to England overlooking Dunbar Town.

 John Muir is known worldwide and is known as the father of national parks in the U.S.A. .

Bear Sculpture by Andy Scott Dunbar East Lothian
Dunbear Sculpture by Andy Scott Plaque Dunbar East Lothian Scotland

Dunbar Parish Church

East Lothian

The first collegiate church to be established in the Lothians stood on the present church site in 1342. Ths church was removed in 1819 a further Gothic church was built and opened in April 1821. This church was unfortunate as it went on fire in 1987 and was again rebuilt and opened again in Nov 1991. 

Not to be missed is the monument to Sir George Home Earl of Dunbar which can be seen in Dunbar Parish Church

George Home, Earl of Dunbar died in 1611. He was knighted by James VI and became Earl of Dunbar in 1605

George Home is shown kneeling in prayer The Earl of Dunbar died in 1610 in London.

When the church was rebuilt a new origin was installed which was imported from the United States. 

 The cross that stands at the window, which fire damage is visible, was made from beams of the previous church. 

the manse is a comfortable residence, built in 1767.

Dunbar Parish Church East Lothian
Dunbar Parish Church Chapel or Guard House East Lothian

Battle of Dunbar 1650 

Memorial Stone

East Lothian

Battle of Dunbar took place on the 3rd September 1650, a major battle between Scotland and England in Wars of the Three Kingdoms. This is the battle Cromwell and English Parliamentary forces defeated Leslie and the Scots Covenanter Army supporters of King Charles II. The fight for the Crown of England for Charles II of Scotland. This was a short battle of 2-3 hours where 1000-3000 Scots were killed and 8000-10000 taken prisoner, with the English losses reported as just minimal a score dead and three score injured.

Battle of Dunbar  1650 Memorial. Broxbur

Trinitarians Monastery

Dunbar East Lothian

The Trinitarians Monastery or Red Friars Monastery ruins still stand in Dunbar town centre first built circa 1220. All that remains is a tower which was converted into a Do'cot 1716. 

Monastery Ruins Dunbar East Lothian
Monastery Wall Dunbar East Lothian
Monastery Ruins Dunbar East Lothian Entr

War Memorial Cross

Dunbar East Lothian

Dunbar War Memorial Celtic Cross Inscription;

IN MEMORY OF THOSE FROM THE BURGH & PARISH OF DUNBAR

WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918

"THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE"

The cross was erected in 1921, in memory of the fallen in the Ist and 2nd World Wars 

Dunbar War Memorial Bayswell Park Dunbar

East Links Park

Dunbar  East Lothian

 

West Barns and Belhaven was an industrial area with Flax mills 1790, cotton-factory 1815, a distillery and foundries now the area is a suburb of Dunbar at East Links West Barns there is an Adventure Park with all types of animals and a petting zoo. Belhaven has a famous Brewery which you can take a tour. Belhaven Beach, golden sand safe water and water sports.

East Links Family Park East Lothian

Belhaven Beach

Dunbar East Lothian

Belhaven Beach, golden sand safe water and water sports.

Surfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding,Snorkeling, cliff jumping, Open water Swimming

John Muir Country Park
Dunbar East Lothian

Belhaven Brewery

Dunbar East Lothian

Belhaven Brewery is the oldest operating brewery in Scotland. The Brewing started by the Benedictine Monks circa 800 years ago. There is a lintel on the Brewhouse with the date 1719 engraved on it. From 1719 the John Johnstone, then his heirs owned the Brewery until 1815. Then Ellis Dudgeon the husband to a Johnstone took over and the brewery traded under the name of Dudgeon & Co, a name retained for more than a 150 years. Ellis Dudgeon died in 1876 and was succeeded in turn by his son-in-law Alexander Hunter, a maltster from nearby Musselburgh. The Hunter family remained until they sold in 1972. The brewery was sold and in the following 20 years went through hard times before a management buyout in 1993. Guided by Stuart Ross it became a profitable and successful independent brewery once again. The Brewery was sold to Greene King (Founded in 1799) in 2005 and is still doing well. 

Belhaven Brewery Dunbar East Lothian

Broxmouth House and Park

East Lothian

Broxmouth House and Park was present prior to 1662 as shown on map Johanne Adair of the Lothians. (A house and walled Garden). This is believed to be where Cromwell had stayed in 1650 when burning Scotland. Most places that Cromwell occupied were burnt or destroyed.

 

The 1st Duke of Roxburghe (John Ker) was to be given subsequent titles one of which was Viscount Broxmouth in 1707. Prior to 1707 there was no title Duke of Roxburghe. Brooksmyth (Broxmouth) was plotted on the map 1715 of Nicolas Sanson see NLS Maps. The house built for the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe circa 1730 on the area once occupied by the earlier building.

 

There are many things to see at Broxmouth Park, which include a tombstone of Sir William Douglas,  

Cromwell’s Mound on which Oliver Cromwell instructed his army at Doon Hill. A cedar Tree planted by Queen Victoria.

An ice-house, in an earth mound close to the Lake side.  Iron Gates, Walled Garden, Observatory,

South Lodge and water features

Broxmouth Observatory

Observatory Broxmouth East Lothian

Foxlake Adventure Park
Dunbar East Lothian

Foxlake East Lothian Scotland
Foxlake East Lothian Scotland

Foxlake

An adventure area with the centre attraction a manmade Lake for water activities.

Foxlake Low Ropes Assault Course

Try the low ropes assault course over water choose from the 3 different levels of difficulty.

Safety equipment & wetsuit included bring your own foot ware, (which will get wet).

50 minute sessions

Foxlake Wakeboarding

Wakeboard over water pulled at high speed by an overhead zipwire. Never tried before don't worry qualified instructors are on site to get you up and boarding.

Safety equipment & wetsuit included bring your own foot ware, (which will get wet).

Age restriction 6+, 15 minute sessions

 

Foxlake Zip Wire Trail

Zip Wire Trail fly through the trees on the zipline at 30 foot from the ground.

There are two zip wires side by side so you don't have to go solo. The zip wire course take circa 2 hours to complete with all safety equipment supplied.

Age, Height, and weight restrictions for safety apply. 

Foxlake Ringo Rides

Not in the sea with the motorboat but in the lake pulled by an overhead wire

Give the same excitement and speed as when on the sea.

up to 3 adults or 4 children per ride.

Safety equipment & wetsuit included bring your own foot ware, (which will get wet).

15 minutes per session 

 

Foxlake Segway Trail

A Segway is a two-wheeled, self-balancing personal transporter. Don't worry if you've not used one before full experienced instructors are on hand to make sure you can get the best out of your segway.

With full instruction on safety and controls. 20 min instruction and 40 minutes on the segway trail.

Age limits apply subject to terms and conditions.

 

Foxlake Cafe

Food and drink available all day.