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Stenton

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

Stenton, a village and a parish of Haddingtonshire. The village stands near the right bank of Souchet Water, 5¼ miles SW of Dunbar, and 4 SE by S of East Linton or Prestonkirk, under which it has a post and telegraph office.
The parish, containing also Pitcox village, 1½ mile ENE, is bounded N by Dunbar, E and SE by Spott and Innerwick, S by Berwickshire, SW and W by Whittinghame, and NW by Prestonkirk. Its utmost length, from N by W to 8 by E, is 10 miles; its breadth varies between 3¼ furlongs and 3 miles; and its area is 7585
acres. Prior to 1891 the parish had two detached sections. The larger of these, containing Millknowe farm, was joined to the main body of the parish by the Boundary Commissioners by incorporating the intervening portion of the parish of Spott and the detached part of Whittinghame, containing respectively 90 and 129 acres. The smaller or Friardykes section, 3 furlongs E of the MilIknowe section, had an area of 340¼ acres, and was transferred to the parish of Spott. WHITTINGIHAME or Beil Water flows 2½ miles east-north-eastward along the Whittinghame boundary and across the northern interior, and, at the point where it first touches the parish, is joined by Souchet Water, running 2 5/8 miles north-by-eastward along the western border. Pressmennan Lake, lying in a deep ravine, ¾ mile SSE of the village, extends about 2 miles north-eastward, but its width varies greatly, the average being about 400 yards. It was formed about 1819 by the construction of a strong breastwork between the hill-screens of the ravine near a point where they stoop gradually to the plain. The hill-screens here are undulating and richly wooded, and, coming down in steep high banks upon the margin of the lake, sweep along in sinuous parallels, so as to render its configuration serpentine; whilst they are cut by walks and gemmed with attractions which render them, jointly with the lake, one of the most delightful pieces of close landscape in Scotland. Its waters, which are strictly preserved, abound in trout, originally brought from Loch Leven. Admission to the lake and grounds, however, is free to all. The lake sends off Bennets or Spott Burn north-eastward towards the German Ocean. In the extreme N the surface declines to 97 feet above sea-level, in the extreme S to 700; and between these two points it rises to 900 feet at Deuchrie Dod, 1000 at Friardykes Dod, and 1250 at Bothwell or Spartleton Hill-summits these of the LAMMERMUIR HILLS. The rocks are variously Devonian, Silurian, and eruptive; and the soil of the arable lands is partly of a light quality suited to the turnip husbandry, but mainly of an argillaceous kind, varying from stiff to loamy. Little more than 2000 acres are in tillage; about 400 are under wood; as much or rather more is in permanent pasture; and the rest is either hill-pasture or waste. Beil House, noticed separately, is owned by Mrs Nisbet Hamilton Ogilvy. (See DiRLETON.) Stenton is in the presbytery of Dunbar and the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £314. The parish church, with a fine tower, is a handsome Gothic edifice of 1829, erected at a cost of over £2000, and opened by Dr Chalmers. In 1892 extensive improvements were made on it, and a stained-glass window was presented by Sir James Frazer. Close to it is an interesting fragment of the old church, with a saddle-backed tower and a Norman doorway. The parish was long called Pitcox, from the village of that name, where stood the original church; and it seems to have acquired the designation of Staneton, or Stonetown,. from the stoniness of the ground around the church. In ancient times it was first a chapelry and next a prebend of Dunbar and a rectory. The public school, with accommodation for 150 children, has an average attendance of about 100, and a grant of nearly £95. Valuation (1885) £6245, 15s., (1893) £5662, 19s. 6d. Pop. (1801) 620, (1831) 686, (1861) 692, (1871) 612, (1881) 594, (1891) 556.

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