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The eastern section of the John Muir Way coastal path starts from the harbour.One of the two campuses to Dunbar Primary School: John Muir Campus, is named in his honour.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 seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. The second Battle of Dunbar (1650) was fought during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms between a Scottish Covenanter army and English Parliamentarians led by Oliver Cromwell.As a royal holding of the kings of Northumbria, the economy centred on the collecting of food renders and the administration of the northern (now Scottish) portion of that kingdom.
Scotland and England contended often for control of the castle and the town.Until the 1960s, the population of the town was little more than 3,500.The town is thriving with the most recent population published for the town at 6,940, and there are many active and planned housing developments ongoing.The early settlement was a principal centre of the people known to the Romans as Votadini and it may have grown in importance when the great hillfort of Traprain Law was abandoned at the end of the 5th century AD.Dunbar was subsumed into Anglian Northumbria as that kingdom expanded in the 6th century and is believed to be synonymous with the Dynbaer of Eddius around 680, the first time that it appears in the written record. Cuthbert, born around 630, was probably from around Dunbar.