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Adair’s Survey of 1682

Adair's map 1682 (C) SCRAN

The survey of East Lothian by Adair in 1682 was much better than earlier attempts; however, the map did not get published until 1736, which was after Adair’s death. After its publication, it became the standard piece of reference for the remaining part of the century until it was superseded by William Forrest’s survey of […]

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Linen Manufacture in Ormiston

Mr John Cockburn set up the first linen manufacturing in Ormiston, the first in East Lothian, which he considered as one of the main trades of Scotland and felt the manufacture of cloth was connected with husbandry and agricultural advances that he was promoting around the land of Ormiston. An eminent Irishman was encouraged to […]

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Ormiston Distillery

A brewery and distillery were established in Ormiston in 1726, when John Cockburn encouraged Mr Alexander Wight, one of his tenants, to set up a malting brewery and distillery. The distillery soon developed a reputation, and promoted the growing of grain in the area. Mr William Foot, distiller, had 2,026 bushels (1 bushel = 34lb […]

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Fountainhall or Penkaet Castle

Penkaet Castle © The Editors of The Gazetteer for Scotland

Fountainhall or Penkaet Castle is a Category A Listed building (listed in 1971), and it was built over 400 years ago. It is a fine example of a Laird’s home, which like many homes of this era has subsequently undergone several grouped phases of building, resulting in four interlocked blocks of cream sandstone buildings with […]

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Glenkinchie Distillery

Glenkinchie Distillery © Max Blinkhorn

Situated near Pencaitland is the one of the finest malt distilleries of Scotland. It is set in the valley of the Kinchie Burn. Founded back in 1837, Milton Distillery as it was known was set up by brothers George and John Rate. Glenkinchie Distillery, as it later became known, is now owned by Diageo (who […]

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Flooding at Pencaitland and Ormiston

River Tyne Burst its Banks

There are locations in and around the villages of Pencaitland and Ormiston that have been affected by flooding after heavy rain. Various approaches to the villages of Pencaitland and Ormiston are generally quite difficult to navigate due to the River Tyne flooding and local run-off to low-lying parts of the villages. The River Tyne runs […]

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River Tyne

Bridge over the River Tyne at Pencaitland © M J Richardson

The River Tyne begins in the Moorfoot Hills, near Tynehead, Midlothian, and flows through East Lothian to the estuary near Belhaven. The river flows approximately 30 miles and passes on the southern side of Ormiston, through Winton estate, disects the village of Pencaitland into Easter Pencaitland and Wester Pencaitland under a three-arched bridge dating from […]

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Woodhall Colliery

Pit ponies at Woodhall Colliery © Scottish Mining Museum

Woodhall Colliery was the only pit owned by the Woodhall Coal Company. Sunk in 1903, it was designed to produce coal for 20 years but favourable geological conditions allowed it to continue until 1944. Working pit ponies from Woodhall Colliery grazing in the East Lothian countryside on one of their rare ‘holidays’ above ground. Pit […]

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History of Winton House


The Setons were granted the lands of Winton c.1152 byScotland’s King David I, which grant was re-confirmed in a charter to them, to Philip de Seton, from William the Lion in 1169.  Philip bestowed Winton on his 2nd son who thus became de Winton and who’s descent Alan de Winton later married the heiress Margaret […]

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Sir John Cockburn

Sir John Cockburn 1679-1758 © National Galleries of Scotland

Sir John Cockburn of Ormiston, in East Lothian, the great improver of Scottish husbandry, son of Adam Cockburn of Ormiston, lord-justice-clerk after the Revolution, by his wife Lady Susan Hamilton, was born about 1685. During his father’s life he was a member of the Scots parliament, and gave his support to the union of the […]

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