North Berwick Law may only be 187 metres tall but it dominates the surrounding landscape, rising out of flat farmland beside the sea at North Berwick. It is a volcanic plug formed around 340 million years ago.
Several thousand years ago a fort was built on the Law, taking advantage of the fantastic defensive situation created by the steep sides of the hill.
As well as being affected by gravity over the years, the fort has probably been disturbed by several developments connected to its use as a lookout post down the centuries. In 1544 a lookout was kept during the approach of Henry VIII’s navy under the Earl of Hereford, on his way to do a bit of Rough Wooing.
In 1803 a watch house was built from stone to give advanced warning of a Napoleonic invasion, and during the Second World War a brick-built building was erected to watch for the Germans.
Also on the summit is a fibreglass replica of a whale’s jawbone, replacing an earlier real jawbone which had two further predecessors dating back to 1709.