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Prestonkirk

The following lengthy quotation about the parish of Prestonkirk comes from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by Francis Groome, published in London, 1903.

Prestonkirk, a parish of Haddingtonshire, containing the town and station of East LINTON, 5¾ miles WSW of Dunbar, and 23½ E by N of Edinburgh. Called the Halch, Hauch, or Haugh in the time of Gawin Douglas, since the Reformation it received the name, first of Prestonhaugh, then of Prestonkirk, and in legal documents is still designated 'Prestonhaugh, otherwise called Prestonkirk;' whilst its popular name is often briefly Linton. It is bounded N by North Berwick, NE by Whitekirk, E by Whitekirk and Dunbar, SE by Stenton, S by Whittingham, SW by Morham and Haddington, and W by Athelstaneford. With a somewhat irregular outline, it has an utmost length from NNW to SSE of 4¾ miles, a varying breadth of 3 furlongs and 4¼ miles, and an area of 7104½ acres, of which 13½ are water. The parish received a slight increase to the extent of its area in 1891, when the Boundary Commissioners transferred to it the Sandysmill detached portion of the parish of Athelstaneford, comprising 16 acres. The Tyne has here an east north easterly course of 4 7/8 miles, for the first 7 furlongs along the Haddington boundary; and the East Peffer Burn flows east north eastward across the northern interior and along the Athelstaneford and Whitekirk borders. In the E, where the Tyne passes off from the parish, the surface declines to 75 feet above sea level; and N of the river it nowhere exceeds 281 feet; but in the S is conical TRAPRAIN LAW (700 feet), which figures conspicuously over a wide extent of landscape. The predominant rocks are claystone, clinkstone, and limestone, and the first is often porphyritic, abounds in crystals of felspar, and contains in places veins of yellow jasper, and of heavy spar. The soil near the Tyne is mostly sandy and gravelly; in the N is argillaceous, partly very stiff; and in the S is calcareous. But a small proportion of land is under wood, about 200 acres are pasture, and nearly all the rest of the parish is in tillage. The chief antiquities are noticed under HAILES and TRAPRAIN LAW. Several stone coffins have been turned up by the plough; a standing stone is said to mark the grave of a Saxon commander; the site is pointed out of the ancient parish church, dedicated to St Baldred, and mentioned in record of the 9th century; and ruins exist of an ancient monastery on Markle farm. St Balthere or Baldred, who died in 756, and who was the patron saint of the parish, is said to have dwelt here, and to have founded the earliest church. He is commemorated in the name of an excellent spring, St Baldred's Well, and in the name of an eddy in the Tyne, St Baldred's Whirl. Gawin Douglas (1474 1522), the translator of Virgil, was 'parson of Hauch.' (not Hawick), previous to becoming Bishop of Dunkeld in 1516. Mansions noticed separately are SMEATON and PHANTASSIE. Prestonkirk is in the presbytery of Dunbar and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £351. The churches and the blic school have been described ander East LiNTON. This school, with accommodation for 364 children, has an average attendance of about 205, and a grant of nearly £205. Valuation (1885) £16,850, (1893) £14,241. Pop. (1801) 1741, (1831) 1765, (1861) 1960, (1871) 1931, (1881) 1929, (1891) 1802.

Linton, East, a small police burgh in Prestonkirk parish, Haddingtonshire. It stands 80 feet above sea­level, 1¾ mile NNE of conical Traprain Law (700 feet), mostly on the, left bank of the river Tyne, and has a station on the North British railway, 5¾ miles WSW of Dunbar, and 23½ E by N of' Edinburgh, whilst by road it is 5 3/8 miles ENE of Haddington, and 6½ SSE of North Berwick. It took the name of 'Linton' from a large, deep linn here in the river Tyne; it gave that name to the parish from the earliest record down to the Reformation; and it bears the prefix East to distinguish it from West Linton in Peeblesshire. A prosperous place, conducting a considerable amount of rural trade, it consists mainly of East Linton proper, immediately on the railway, and partly of the extra burghal suburb of Preston, 3 furlongs lower down the river, and it has a post office (Prestonkirk), with money order, savings bank, and telegraph departments, a branch of the National Bank, a gas company, a grain mill, a saw mill, curling and bowling clubs, horticultural and ornitho­logical societies, Freemasons', Good Templars', and Foresters' lodges; Young Men's Christian Association; cattle fairs on the second Mondays of March, May, and June, and on the Thursday before Falkirk October Tryst - the last of the most importance. A public hall, 60 feet long, 36½broad, and 31 high, was erected in 1874-­75 at a cost of £1000, and serves for volunteer drill, lectures, concerts, etc. A coffee house, with reading room and library, was built in 1880-81, at a cost of £1000, by Lady Baird of Newbyth; and in 1882 a public school, with accommodation for 364 children, was built at a cost of £3000. The parish church in Preston suburb, was built in 1770, and enlarged in 1824. In 1892 a panelled and carved screen was erected across the gable of the church behind the pulpit, and the wall between the vestry beyond and the church was removed. The Free church, improved and enlarged in 1879 80 at a cost of £1200, is a handsome Romanesque building, with tower and spire, adorned in 1888 with an illuminated clock; and there is a U.P. church. The railway viaduct over the Tyne here is the finest on the North British, that of Dunglass only excepted. John Pettie, R.A. (1839-93) was brought up here, and here too were born the painters Colin Hunter and Charles Martin Hardie, as well as Robert Brown (1757 1831), writer on alriculture. It is governed by a provost, 2 bailies and 6 commissioners. Pop, (1891) 1111, of whom 865 were within the police burgh.


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