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Castles of Scotland
Dunbar Castle


The East Lothian coastal fortress of Dunbar Castle dates back to the twelfth century when it was built for the Cospatrick family. The Cospatrick’s later changed their name to Dunbar after the place name of their main Castle, i.e. Dun - tower, on the bar.

In 1314 Edward II fled here after the Battle of Bannockburn then boarded a boat to Berwick upon Tweed.

In 1338 Black Agnes Countess of Dunbar defended the Castle for 5 months against the English armies of Salsibury and Arundel. The siege was eventually raised by Alexander Ramsay with 40 men, who managed to get through the English blockading force with supplies.

In 1488 the Castle was dismantled by order of the Scots parliament to prevent it falling into English hands, however, James IV later had the Castle rebuilt in the 1490’s.

Mary, Queen of Scots fled to Dunbar after the death of Rizzio in 1566 and once again in 1567 after the murder of her husband Darnley. After her abdication Dunbar was finally dismantled for the last time by order of the Scots parliament and it then fell into a ruined state.


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