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DIRLETON

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"DIRLETON, a parish in the county of Haddington, Scotland. It contains the villages of Dirleton, Gulane, Kingston, and Fenton. It is bounded on the W. and N. by the Firth of Forth, and on the other sides by the parishes of Aberlady, North Berwick, and Athelstanford. It has an extreme length from E. to W. of 5 miles, with an extreme breadth of 4 miles. The surface consists of flat sandy links lying between the sandy beach on the coast and the cultivated land. Towards Gulane Point the coast is rocky, and encroachments have been made on the cultivated land by the drifting of the sand. Mrs. Hamilton Nisbet Ferguson is the proprietor of about two-thirds of the lands of the parish, and the superior of nearly the whole. Her residence of Archerfield is the only mansion. The road from Edinburgh to North Berwick traverses The parish, as does also the North Berwick branch of the North British railway, which has a station in the village. In 1298 the garrison of Dirleton Castle greatly harassed the march of the English army under Edward I., and surrendered, after a determined resistance, to Antony Beck, Bishop of Durham. This castle remained from the 12th century till the end of the 14th century in the possession of the family of De Vaux. Sir Walter Halyburton, who had succeeded his father in the estate of Dirleton in 1392, was created Lord Dirleton in 1440. In 1506 the title and estate passed into the family of Ruthven, but after the Gowrie conspiracy it was bestowed on Sir Thomas Erskine, then created Baron Dirleton, who had rendered active assistance against the conspirators. During the civil wars in 1650, Monk besieged and took a party of moss-troopers in Dirleton Castle. After the Restoration the castle became the property of Sir John Nisbet, and his male heirs being extinct in the late Mr. Nisbet, of Dirleton, it is now held by his daughter, Mrs. Ferguson, of Raith. This parish is in the presbytery of Haddington, and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and in the patronage of Mrs. Ferguson. The minister has a stipend of 336. There is also a Free church. The ruins of the old parish church are still existing at Gulane, or Golyn as anciently spelt, and as the parish was originally named. The village of Dirleton stands on the road from Edinburgh to North Berwick, 7 miles N. of Haddington. It has been almost entirely rebuilt by Mrs. Ferguson, and the cottages, each surrounded by its own garden, occupy two sides of the village green, the third side being filled by the gardens and ruins of the castle."

"FENTON, a village in the parish of Dirleton, county Haddington, Scotland, near Dirleton town. East Fenton, Fenton Tower, and Fenton Barns, are all in the vicinity."

"FIDDRIE, (or Fethway), an island in the parish of Dirleton, in the county of Haddington, Scotland, in the Firth of Forth. It lies 5 miles of the Bass rock, opposite to Dirleton. There are ruins of a chapel upon the island.

"GULLANE, (or Gullam), a post village in the parish of Dirleton, county Haddington, Scotland. It is situated on Aberlady Bay, near Gulaneness, on the Firth of Forth. The village takes its name from Go-lyn, or, "little lake," and gave name to the parish till 1612, when it was called Dirleton. Here are extensive sand-downs, swarming with rabbits, and a favourite spot for the training of racers. The village has some good houses and a school. An abandoned iron-work is in the vicinity, and the ruins of the old parish church.

"LAMBE, an islet in the parish of Dirleton, Frith of Forth, county Haddington, Scotland, 1 mile N.W. of North Berwick."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]

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[Last updated at 22.47 on Wednesday, 26 March 2003, Gaz3 v01.16, by David Howie. 2000]

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