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The Fourth Statistical Account of East Lothian

Revisiting the past

It is probable that the area round Spott was first inhabited by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers during the period c7000-3500 BC. Finds of groups of flint tools from this period were discovered in 1975 nearby at Hedderwick and at Torness. No settlements have been found from the Neolithic period c4000-2500BC, but fine polished axes found in many parts of Lothian, including Doon Hill, are an indication that there were early farmers in this area.

The presence of the standing stone on Easter Broomhouse and of a cist and cairn monument on nearby Sparleton Edge, point to the area being settled during the early and middle Bronze Age c2500-1000 BC.

Since the advent of aerial photography, crop marks have shown the position of several possible forts and settlements around the present village from the late Bronze Age and pre- Roman Iron Age c1000BC-43AD. The National Monuments Records of Scotland have details of all finds, but the most important are the Chesters (previously visited by the Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Monuments - RCAHMS - in 1913 and 1941); probably forts (or enclosures) on Spott Dod, Spott Mill, Easter Broomhouse, Bourhouse, Hurkletillane, Pleasants, Doon Hill, Boonslie, Halls and Bell Craig; a settlement at Pleasants, Bourhouse and at the Black Loch; a hut-circle on Lothian edge; also several pit-alignments and various crop marks. Just over the parish boundary, at Doon Hill, excavations in 1964-66 revealed the site of the timber halls and enclosures.

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