Dunbar Castle

Dunbar (Gaelic: Dùn Barra) is a town and former royal burgh in East Lothian on the southeast coast of Scotland, approximately 30 miles east of Edinburgh.

Archaeological excavations in Castle Park show Dunbar to have had a settled community a few centuries BC. Believed to be synonymous with the Dynbaer of Eddius around 680AD, it was a king's vill and prison to Bishop Wilfrid. At that time it was part of the kingdom of Northumbria.

Burnt by Cináed mac Ailpín in the 9th century it passed to Scotland along with Lothian in the next century. Dunbar and land in the Merse (hence March) granted to the exiled earl Cospatrick of Northumbria by Máel Coluim III (to whom he may have been full cousin) during 1072. Gospatrick founded the family of Dunbar, earls of Dunbar and March until the 15th century.

The town became successively a baronial burgh and royal burgh (1370) and grew slowly under the shadow of the great castle of the earls. Scotland and England contended often for possession of the castle and town. The former was 'impregnable' and withstood many sieges; the latter was burnt, frequently. The castle had been slighted (deliberately ruined) in 1568 but the town flourished as an agricultural centre and fishing port despite tempestuous times in the 17th and early 18th centuries.
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