GENUKI Home page

Saltoun Index Saltoun GENUKI Index Contents

Saltoun

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

Salton, a parish of W Haddingtonshire, whose church stands at East Salton village, in the centre of the parish, 6¼ miles SSW of Haddington, 5¾ SE of Tranent, and 2 5/8 ESE of the post town, Pencaitland. Containing also West Salton village (1 mile WSW), with a post office, it is bounded N by Gladsmuir, NE by Haddington, E and SE by Bolton, S and SW by Humbie, and W and NW by Pencaitland. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 3½miles; its utmost width is 2¾ miles; and its area is 3811¾ acres. The TYNE winds 2 5/8 miles north eastward along or near to all the north western and northern boundary; and its afiluent, Salton or Birns Water, over the last 3 5/8 miles of its course, roughly traces all the southern, south western, and western boundary. The surface has a general southward ascent   from a little below 200 feet at the northern border to a little over 500 at broad­based Skimmer Hill. On the SE and E this high gound is, in a certain degree, continued by low uplands; but on all other sides the surface falls gradually off to the boundaries, and becomes lost in levels of very humble altitude. A wood, which covers nearly 1 square mile, and is continuous with a forest of similar size in Humbie, occupies most of the hanging plain on the SW. The rocks are carboniferrous, limestone has been largely worked, whilst coal is believed to lie under the strata of limestone. The soil is very various, chiefly a deep rich clay, but also a clayey or friable loam and a light sand. Except the area under wood, and about 150 acres in permanent pasture, the entire parish is arable. Salton is noted for having been the first place in Scotland in which pot barley was manufactured, and the first in Britain in which the weaving of hollands was established   both these industries having been introduced from the Netherlands by the lady of Henry Fletcher of Salton in or soon after 1710. It was also the first place in which a bleachfield of the British Linen Company was formed (in 1750), and one of the earliest in which a paper mill and a starch work were !et up. It is further associated with the invention and improvement of some agricultural machines; but all its manufactures have long been things of the past. The parish is traversed by the road from Edinburgh, across the Lammermuirs, to Duns. In the 12th and the first half of the 13th century the manor of Salton belonged to the De Morvilles, lords high constables of Scotland, and their successors the Lords of Galloway; but about 1260 the greater part of it seems to have been possessed by Sir William de Abernethy, whose descendant, Laurence, in 1445 was created Baron Saltoun (see PHILORTH). In 1643 the ninth Lord Saltoun sold the estate to Sir Andrew Fletcher, a judge of session, with the title of Lord Innerpeffer, among whose descendants have been Andrew Fletcher (1653 1716), the patriot and political writer, and Andrew Fletcher, Lord Milton (1892 1766), a distinguished judge . The present owner is John Fletcher, Esq. (b. 1827; suc. 1879). His seat, Salton House, on the right bank of Salton Water, 1 1/8 mile WNW of East Salton, was formerly a fortified place of some strength, but, as modernised and improved in recent years, is now a fine Elizabethan structure, with a great square tower, a valuable library (formed by the patriot, Andrew Fletcher), and a large and well wooded park (Jn. Small's Castles and Mansions of the Lothians, 1883). Another mansion, noticed separately, is HERDMANSTON. Gilbert Burnet, D.D. (1648 1715), historian and Bishop of Salisbury, was minister from 1665 to 1669, and at his death bequeathed 20,000 merks for the benefit of the parish, to be applied in building a schoolhouse, clothing and educating 30 poor children, improving a library for the use of the minister, etc. The proceeds of this bequest now amount to about £100. Patrick Scougal, D.D. (1608 82), was minister from 1659 to 1664, when he was raised to the bishopric of Aberdeen; and his son Henry (1650 78), author of Life of God in the Soul of Man, has been claimed   wrongly it would seem   as a native. Salton is in the presbytery of Haddington and the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £231. The church, which was held by Dryburgh Abbey from its foundation till the dissolution, was annexed in 1633 to the short lived see of Edinburgh. As almost rebuilt in 1806, it is a cruciform Gothic edifice, with 400 sittings, a tower and spire 90 feet high, and the family vault of the Fletchers. A Free church for Salton and Bolton is situated in the latter parish, 1¼ mile NNE of East Salton. Salton public school, with accommodation for 139 children, has an average attendance of about 90, and a grant of nearly £90. Valuation (1885) £6011, 9s., (1893) £4630, 12s. 6d. Pop. (1801) 786, (1831) 786, (1861) 712, (1871) 647, (1881) 575, (1891) 495.

Do you wish to report problems or contribute information?

Last updated 5 March 2003

Valid HTML 4.01!