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Statistical Accounts of Scotland

Haddingtonshire (East Lothian)

Old and New Statistical Accounts

Aberlady Garvald Morham Prestonkirk Tranent
Athelstaneford Gladsmuir North Berwick Prestonpans Whitekirk & Tynninghame
Bolton Haddington Oldhamstocks Salton Whittinghame
Dirleton Humbie Ormiston Spott Yester
Dunbar Innerwick Pencaitland Stenton  

Links are to the GoogleBooks and EDINA sites. On EDINA site go to "browse scanned image" to see appropriate page. Additional information on parishes can be found on the Vision of Britain site.

YesterWhittinghameWhitekirk & TynninghameTranentStentonSpottSaltonPrestonpansPrestonkirkPencaitlandOrmistonOldhamstocksNorth BerwickMorhamInnerwickHumbieHaddingtonGarvaldGladsmuirBoltonDunbarAberladyAthelstanefordDirleton


General Observations on the County of Haddington
p. 374 Statute Labour
p. 375 Roads
p. 380 Offences, including those relating to roads e.g. furious driving

Aberlady
OSA
No mention of roads.

NSA
p. 256 The nearest market is Haddington although much of the grain is taken to Dalkeith and Edinburgh where higher prices can be obtained. There is a daily post, and a coach between North Berwick and Edinburgh as well as a carrier. Roads are very good and allow more goods to be carted to market. Forty years ago the roads were very rough. Coal used as fuel.

Athelstaneford
OSA
Haddington market used. Fifty 2-horse carts, 6 one-horse carts and one coach in the parish. No mention of roads. Vagrant poor.

NSA
No particular mention of roads. Mention of ford. The road-man found a stone coffin when excavating a new quarry for road metal where Athelstan was said to have been buried.

Bolton
OSA No mention of roads.

NSA
p. 274 There is a possibility that the Romans were in this area.
p. 278 The nearest market is Haddington; Dalkeith and Edinburgh are also used. The London and the Duns roads pass through and there is a fairly reasonable road running the length of the parish. Some of the statute labour roads are poor. There is no post office. Coal is obtained from Penstone, Pencaitland and Huntlaw, all in easy reach.

Dirleton
Dirleton
OSA ; also ferry
There is a poetic description of passing coaches where the "rocks sound and shake as carriages pass along." There used to be a ferry to Fife from Gulan Ness. Coal brought in by sea or obtained at coal pits.

NSA
Haddington is the nearest market town although much of the grain is taken to Edinburgh. The North Berwick coach passes through each day as do a number of carriers. There are 2 post offices here; the post coming from Haddington. Roads are good although there is a need for footpaths. The contrast with just 50 years ago is shown by the road between Dirleton and North Berwick being repaired each spring by ploughing, rolling and harrowing it. There are 88 ¾ plough gates charged for the statute labour.

Dunbar
OSA
The harbour used to be at Belhaven. Considerable trade passes through the port. The post road runs through the parish and is in good condition. There are toll bars at Kirk Hill and at Belhaven. Four bridges in the parish. The cross roads, funded by the statute labour, are good.

NSA
Dunbar is a market and post town and a considerable port with much trade carried on. Grain is often brought here, mostly from Berwickshire. Some days there can be 90 carts from there with only about 9 carts from Haddingtonshire. The London road passes through the parish for a length of 7 miles, 6 furlongs and 90 yards. There are stage coaches to Edinburgh and Berwick, as well as carriers and it is possible to sail to Leith and London. Two annual fairs. Coal brought by boat from Wemyss, Carlestown, Bo’ness and Sunderland. A railway is proposed from Inveresk to Haddington and Dunbar.

Garvald
OSA ; also Whitecastle
Roads assessed at L1 per ploughgate of which there are 46 or so in the parish. Roads are in good repair. Mention of inn at Danskine on the Edinburgh to Duns road. Lime is brought from 4 or 5 miles away and coal from Penstone and Pencaitland. Whitecastle to the east of the parish guarded a pass from the Merse and England.

NSA Reiterates the importance of Whitecastle. The turnpike from Dunse to Haddington passes through the parish for 6 miles but there are no public coaches on it. There is a weekly carrier. There are about 16 miles of good bye-roads, funded by the statute labour money. Bridges in good condition.

Gladsmuir
OSA Vagrant poor receive no aid. Those who are lame are transported outwith the parish. No mention of roads.

NSA ; also
About 30 men are employed in winter (20 in summer) on the various roads of the parish, viz. the London road, the road through Niddrie, the North Berwick road on the coast, and the cross and parish roads. Although Haddington is the nearest market, most farmers take their grain to Dalkeith and Edinburgh. Six coaches and the mail coach run on the Edinburgh road each day. The coast road is used by the North Berwick coach and a number of carriers. A road runs from Coates, passing Seatonhill to Haeklaw and Longniddry. Cross roads intersect all these. All roads are in good repair.

Haddington
Centre of HaddingtonOSA
This is the first stage on the post road to London. There are two fairs, and a large weekly market for grain. An abbey was founded here in 1178. A "Chinese" bridge at Clerkington House was swept away by floods in 1775. The post road is funded by tolls which amounted to £981 this year. The bye-roads are funded by the converted statute labour which is rated at 20/- sterling per plough gate and 1/6 per household over 20/-rent. The bye roads are bad because of the clayey soil and the lack of suitable road-building materials nearby.

NSA
Old bridge in HaddingtonNo particular mention of roads. During the "pest" in the year 1530 there was a ban on travel to and from Edinburgh, Leith and other places. There is a bridge of four arches. The main road from Edinburgh to London passes through the town. There is a weekly market. In the past there used to be fairs.

Humbie

Old signpost
Old signpost

OSA
Before 1770 the roads were so bad that many were impassable in winter. Now the bye-roads are good and twice as much can now be carted because of the improvement. It helped in making the roads that there was suitable gravel nearby and that the soil allowed the roads to be formed by plough. Nearby tenants were paid to bring stones from their fields.

NSA
There are three bridges. The two main grain markets in the country are within 9 miles of here, viz. Haddington and Dalkeith. The cross-roads to Dalkeith are very hilly as far as the London road. These statute labour roads are in tolerable repair but improvements to the main one through the introduction of a toll are being considered.



Innerwick
OSA
No mention of roads. There is a one arch bridge called Edirkin, thought to be called after King Edward, who may have built it.

NSA
p. 240 There were church collections in the 1600’s for bridges at Linton and Whitekirk. Innerwick and Thornton castles were of strategic importance for guarding routes from the south.
p. 242 Just south of Innerwick castle there are traces of a structure called Edinkens Bridge (Canmore reference) though it is not known who it was named after.
p. 246 There are markets at Dunbar, Haddington and Dunse. The Mail and Union coaches and a coach to Berwick pass through each day on the London road. The other roads are good. Letters are carried here from Dunbar. A carrier passes through once a week on his way between Edinburgh and Berwick. There is a small harbour at Skateraw where coal from Fife and Bo’ness is landed and lime exported.

Morham
OSA
Market at Haddington. No mention of roads.

NSA
Local market at Haddington. No public coaches come nearer than Haddington and mail has to be collected from that town. The Garvald and Stenton carriers can be used although they pass through at the edges of the parish. The main roads are now fairly good though very indirect. The branch road to the west is in a very bad condition. Coal comes from Penston, 8 miles away, which doubles its price.

North Berwick
North Berwick

OSA
No mention of roads.

NSA
Market town. The post office is served from Haddington. A stage coach and carriers run to Edinburgh each day. The turnpikes, bridges and fences are all very good. There are two small annual fairs. Coal is brought by sea from Bo’ness and Newcastle and used mostly in the town. Those in the country get their coal from Pencaitland and Tranent.

Oldhamstocks
Oldhamstocks

OSA
Mention of a toll keeper and of carriage charges to Dunbar. No mention of roads.

NSA
No mention of roads.

Ormiston
OSA
The roads generally are bad and bridges are needed. The bad roads are due to the unsuitable soil and lack of proper road making materials. A turnpike act is required. South of Ormiston there is an old two arch bridge over the Tyne.

NSA
A road had been proposed to run from Pencaitland to Whitehouse Mill. Vegetables and fruit are carried to Edinburgh. Local markets in Haddington, Dalkeith and Edinburgh. A corn market was recently set up in Tranent and is only two miles away. There is a post office in the village. A turnpike road runs north to south through the parish for about 5 miles. Three small bridges have been built near the village and are a great convenience. Two extra tolls were set up to help maintain this road. Coal is obtained from near at hand. Since the last account, the public and private roads have improved considerably.

Pencaitland
OSA
Coal mined here is used widely in the area and also taken to Lauderdale. The roads are poor, partly because of the soil and the lack of materials and partly because they are well used as thoroughfares, particularly as much of the coal and lime for East Lothian passes through. However, the county is now attending to this and this is expected to improve matters. A great deal has been done by Sir Andrew Lauder who spent a great deal of money on roads on his estate and in the area.

NSA
No particular mention of roads. Two annual fairs instituted in Wester Pencaitland in 1699. Markets in Haddington, Dalkeith and Edinburgh.

Prestonkirk

Linton Bridge. It dates from the 1500's and carried the old London road over the Tyne. See Canmore record.

OSA
The road to England passes through. Linton Bridge is in the parish. The old church here is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, circa 800 AD.

NSA
There is a post office in Linton with a daily mail coach between Edinburgh and London. Four other coaches travel on the London road. There is a bridge over the Tyne on the main road which although in good condition, is narrow. Coal is obtained 12 miles away.



Prestonpans

OSA
Two carriers come from Glasgow to Edinburgh with goods and return with oysters. Six coaches run each week to Edinburgh and back. The journey takes 2 hours and costs 1/8d. There are tolls at Ravenshaugh on the toll-road and at Wallyford toll on a road that leads to Dalkieth. The amount collected from these two tolls is now over £400 per annum. There is a place called Olivestob which was known as Holystop referring to a procession from Preston to Newbottle where the host stopped.

NSA
Most of the grain is sold in Edinburgh. The North Berwick coach runs through and a carrier goes from the parish to Edinburgh twice a week. Other carriers pass through.

Salton
OSA
No mention of roads.

NSA
The nearest markets are at Haddington and Dalkeith. East Salton is on a turnpike leading from Edinburgh to Dunse across the Lammermuirs. A carrier goes to Edinburgh once a week as does a carrier from Gifford. In summer a one horse coach passes through as it goes between Gifford and Tranent and allows connection with coaches in Haddington. There is a post office at West Salton served from Haddington. It covers this parish and parts of adjoining parishes. There are three stone bridges.

Spott
OSA
No mention of roads.

NSA
The nearest market town is Dunbar but most grain is taken to Haddington. Dunbar is the post town and coaches are easily accessed there. Travel will be even easier if the proposed railway is built. Coal from Fife or England is obtainable at Dunbar or at coal pits. People in the Lammermuirs use peat and turf.

Stenton
Old church in StentonOSA
Large number of "stranger beggars".

NSA
No particular mention of roads. Market in Dunbar. Coal brought from Pencaitland and Penston and also brought by sea to Dunbar.

 

 

 


Tranent

OSA
One of the schoolmaster’s additional duties is to collect the road money. The post road runs through the parish. The roads are very poor and some almost impassable because of the destruction caused by the number of carts going to collieries. The statute labour money of £60 is totally inadequate for repairs and the work is carried out at the wrong time of year. A bill has been proposed for the next session.

NSA
p. 287 In 1719 a wooden wagon way was built from coal works at Tranent to Port Seaton - horses could pull two tons.
p. 288 Effectiveness of various local rocks in making roads.
p. 297 There are numerous old coal pits in the west of the parish and it is likely that the large number of roads and their width had its origin in Edinburgh being supplied with coal from these pits.
p. 299 The nearest market towns are Haddington and Dalkeith, both about 7 miles away; the bulk of the grain however goes to Edinburgh. Communications to Edinburgh are excellent. Three miles of the great post road pass through the parish and there are 6 miles of other turnpike roads. The statute labour roads however are in poor repair there being insufficient funds to maintain them properly - there are 15 miles of them and they are well used.
There are regular postal services to Edinburgh and Haddington and 6 public carriages passing daily on the post road, in either direction, as well as one from North Berwick through Cockenzie.
p. 303 There had been a large fair at Cockenzie but the growth in the number of shops has done away with the need for it. Coal is obtained locally.

Whitekirk and Tynninghame
OSA
Roads are reasonably good and much improved.

NSA; also
Our Lady’s Well, near Whitekirk church used to be a place of pilgrimage. The roads are excellent. The parish roads cost L85 and the public road L17. There is a post office in Prestonkirk. The London road passes through the parish and several coaches run on it. There is also a turnpike from Dunbar to North Berwick. Coal is landed from Fife and also obtained from Gladsmuir and Tranent.

Whittingham
Parish map (south-east sheet)

OSA
The roads are good and the roads money is £56 per annum and rated at 20s a ploughgate. The farmers see the benefit of improved roads being able to take 8 to 10 times as much corn to Haddington than when they had to carry it on horseback.

NSA
Markets in Haddington and Dunbar. There are 30 miles of road assessed at L2 for each of the 57½ ploughgates in the parish.

Yester
OSA; also carts etc
Most of the bridges here were destroyed in a flood of 1775. There are 65 carts in the parish, some of them 2-horse carts. There are no wagons. There is one coach and three 4-wheel and three 2-wheel chaises.

NSA; also fairs

Gifford

The nearest market is Haddington. The road there is not very level but is otherwise good. There are 3 miles of turnpike and 13 miles of parish roads. The road from here to Edinburgh (19 miles away) is also in good condition. Bridges and fences are good. The roads have improved very much since 1750 when an Act was obtained for repairing the road between Dunglas Bridge and Ravenshaugh Bridge - before that time they were practically impassable. A one-horse coach travels to Edinburgh by Salton and Tranent three times a week, taking 2 ½ hours for the journey. Two carriers also run weekly to Edinburgh. There is a penny post in the village. There are three annual fairs for cattle, horses and sheep. An unfortunate arrangement results in up to 500 shearers coming to Gifford on the Sunday before a hiring tryst and engaging in drunken and disorderly behaviour. Coal comes from Salton and Pencaitland a few miles away.

 

 

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Interesting Points

Dirleton
There is a poetic description of passing coaches where the "rocks sound and shake as carriages pass along." There used to be a ferry to Fife from Gulan Ness. The contrast with just 50 years ago is shown by the road between Dirleton and North Berwick being repaired each spring by ploughing,
rolling and harrowing it.

Garvald Whitecastle to the east of the parish guarded a pass from the Merse and England.

Gladsmuir Vagrant poor receive no aid. Those who are lame are transported outwith the parish. About 30 men are employed in winter (20 in summer) on the various roads of the parish.

Haddington
A "Chinese" bridge at Clerkington House was swept away by floods in 1775. During the "pest" in the year 1530 there was a ban on travel to and from Edinburgh, Leith and other places.

Innerwick There is a one arch bridge called Edirkin, thought to be called after King Edward, who may have built it. There were church collections in the 1600’s for bridges at Linton and Whitekirk. There is a small harbour at Skateraw where coal from Fife and Bo’ness is landed and lime exported.

Ormiston
South of Ormiston there is an old two arch bridge over the Tyne. Prestonkirk The old church here is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, circa 800 AD.

Prestonpans There is a place called Olivestob which was known as Holystop referring to a procession from Preston to Newbottle where the host stopped.

Stenton
Large number of "stranger beggars".

Tranent
One of the schoolmaster’s additional duties is to collect the road money. The roads are very poor and some almost impassable because of the destruction caused by the number of carts going to collieries. In 1719 a wooden wagon way was built from coal works at Tranent to Port Seaton - horses could pull two tons. There are numerous old coal pits in the west of the parish and it is likely that the large number of roads and their width had its origin in Edinburgh being supplied with coal from these pits.

Whitekirk and Tynninghame Our Lady’s Well, near Whitekirk church used to be a place of pilgrimage.

Whittingham The farmers see the benefit of improved roads being able to take 8 to 10 times as much corn to Haddington than when they had to carry it on horseback.

Yester
Most of the bridges here were destroyed in a flood of 1775. Gifford: An unfortunate arrangement results in up to 500 shearers coming to Gifford on the Sunday before a hiring tryst and engaging in drunken and disorderly behaviour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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