We paid a flying visit to East Lothian today, as usual in search of castles. We were aiming for Tranent Tower in Tranent, but not far out of Edinburgh we stopped briefly to take a photo of a doocot associated with Dolphingstone Castle.
Described by the RCAHMS as a late 17th century house, nothing now remains of Dolphingstone except for the doocot and the boundary wall of the property. In the early 20th century it was apparently possible to still see the remains of a vaulted basement, and Oliver Cromwell is said to have stayed here in 1650 or 1651, both of which suggest that the house incorporated older elements.
We continued on to Tranent and parked in the centre of the village. Tranent Tower is now pretty much hemmed in on all sides by later housing, but it is currently surrounded by scaffolding, possibly with a view to restoration as a residential property. The easiest access is from the west, where a lane runs along the side of some cottages, which may stand on the site of ancillary buildings.
We then walked around to the housing estate on the east side of the castle to see what we could see from there. The answer was not a huge amount more, just more scaffolding!
It’s a shame that the new housing has been built so close to the old tower, but I suppose it’s better that than it having been knocked down.
It is possible to see slightly more from this side, if you look closely you can see a window opening in the east gable, and what may be a doorway in the re-entrant angle.
While we were in East Lothian we decided we should visit a beach, so we drove to Gosford Bay. Unfortunately the tide was in, but it was still possible to have a clamber about on the rocks.
At the top of the rock platforms is a line of concrete blocks which are anti-tank defences from World War II.
On the way home, driving past the car dealerships between Portobello and Leith, we spotted a Mini dressed as a Highland Cow!