DIRLETON Castle and Tantallon Castle have been closed as a "precautionary measure" due to potential safety risks to visitors from unstable masonry.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) announced today that it was temporarily closing more than a dozen of its visitor sites as it undertakes further site inspections.

A statement said: "Planned inspections recently carried out at some of our properties identified a potential safety risk to visitors and staff from unstable masonry at high level.

"We have therefore taken the decision to close or partially close some sites as a precautionary measure until inspections can take place.

Where we are able to safely maintain access to sites we will do so with reduced ticket prices to visitors while inspection work on site takes place. However, some areas of these sites will be closed to visitors."

Its website lists both Dirleton Castle and Tantallon Castle, east of North Berwick, as being closed.

"We apologise for any inconvenience," said HES.

Visitors with pre-booked tickets have been contacted.

The full list of sites affected is as follows: Arbroath Abbey and Abbot's House; Bothwell Castle; Caerlaverock Castle; Craigmillar Castle; Crichton Castle; Dirleton Castle; Doune Castle; Dryburgh Abbey; Dundonald Castle; Dunkeld Cathedral; Jedburgh Abbey; Kelso Abbey; Linlithgow Palace; MacLellan’s Castle; Maybole Collegiate Church; Melrose Abbey; Rothesay Castle; St Andrews Cathedral; and Tantallon Castle