The following lengthy quotation about the parish of Garvald comes from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by Francis Groome, published in London, 1903.
Garvald, a village and a parish in Haddingtonshire. The village stands towards the N of the parish, 450 feet above sea-level, on the left bank of Papana Water, 5¼ miles S of East Linton station, and 5¾ ESE of Haddington; it has a post office under Prestonkirk. In 1893 a bill was introduced into Parliament for the construction of a deviation railway from the Macmerry branch of the North British to Gifford and Garvald.
The present parish, comprising the ancient parishes of Garvald and Bara, united in 1702, is bounded N, NE, E, and SE by Whittingham, S by Lauder in Berwickshire, W by Yester and Haddington, and NW by Morham. Its utmost length, from NNE to SSW, is 8 1/8 miles; its breadth varies between 1 3/8 and 4¼ miles; and its area is 13,442 acres. The northern division, comprising about one-fourth of the entire area, is a lowland tract, all rich in the characters of soil, cultivation, and beauty, that mark the great plain of East Lothian; but other divisions consist of portions of the Lammermuir Hills, ascending to their watershed at the Berwickshire border, and are mostly bleak, heathy, and mossy, with occasional patches of verdure. In the N the surface declines to 390 feet above sea-level, and rises thence to 900 at Snawdon, 1250 at Rangely Kipp, and 1631 at Lowrans Law. Hopes Water and two other head-streams of Gifford Water, descending from the southern heights, unite near the western boundary, and pass into Yester on their way to the Tyne. Papana Water rises on the south-eastern border, and, winding 5 miles northward through the interior, past the village, to the northern boundary, proceeds thence, under difierent names, to the sea at Belhaven Bay; within this parish it runs along a very rocky bed, and is subject to violent freshets, sweeping down stones of great weight, and overflowing portions of its banks. In 1755 it rose to so great a volume as to flood some houses in the village to the depth of 3 feet. The rocks in the N include excellent sandstone, which has been quarried; and those of the hills are chiefly Silurian. The soil in the N is a deep rich clay, in the NE is of a light gravelly nature; and on the hills is thin and spongy. An ancient circular camp, 1500 feet in circumference, is on Garvald farm, and four or five others are dotted over the hills. Whitecastle and Yester Castle are the chief antiquities ; the two mansions, Hopes and Nunraw Castle, are noticed separately. Garvald is in the presbytry f Haddington and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £253. The parish church, at the village, is an old building, enlarged in 1829, and containing 360 sittings. There is also a Free church; and a public school, with accommodation for 125 children, has an average attendance of 60, and a grant of about £57. Valuation (1883)£9320, 10s., (1892)£7254, 2s. 6d. Pop. (1881) 758, (1891) 600.