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

"TRANENT, a parish, county Haddington, Scotland, comprising the small seaports of Cockenzie and Portseaton, and the villages of Elphinstone and Meadowmill. The parish extends in length about 4 miles from N. to S., with an extreme breadth of 3 miles, and is bounded by Edinburghshire, Prestonpans, the Frith of Forth, Gladsmuir, Pencaitland, and Ormiston. Its surface is undulating, nowhere exceeding an altitude of more than 300 feet above sea-level. The land for the most part is in a good state of cultivation. Its coast, about 2 miles in extent, is generally flat, except near Cockenzie and Portseaton. Sandstone and trap are quarried to a considerable extent, and the coal mines have been worked ever since the discovery of coals in Scotland. The principal of the mines are situated at Tranent, Elphinstone, Birsley, and St. Germains, the seams varying from 5 to 9 feet in thickness. The parish is traversed by the roads from Edinburgh to North Berwick and Haddington, and by the North British railway, which has a branch of about 1 mile in length to the town of Tranent. This town, anciently called Travernent, occupies a spot on the Frith of Forth, about 1 mile S.E. of Prestonpans, and 7 miles W. of Haddington. It chiefly consists of one street, irregularly built, running from W. to E., with another cross street diverging from it about the centre. There are a branch office of the City of Glasgow bank, and a manufactory for agricultural implements. This parish is in the presbytery of Haddington, synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and in the patronage of the crown. The stipend of the minister is about 320. The parish church was erected in 1801. There are also a Free church, a United Presbyterian church, parochial school, and a chapel-of-ease at Cockenzie. Half a mile below the town is Steill's hospital and school, erected in 1820, in which 140 poor children are educated free, and 10 receive clothing. Near the southern boundary of the parish is Elphinstone Tower, erected in the 14th century; and in another part of the parish are the ruins of Waterfallside Castle, Seton House, and the remains of a collegiate church. A country market is held in Tranent every Monday during harvest for hiring reapers."

"BIRSELEY, a locality in the parish of Tranent, in the county of Haddington, Scotland, not far from Preston Pans. Coal is obtained here."

"CLEMENT'S WELLS, a village in the parish of Tranent, and county of Haddington, Scotland, 2 miles S.E. of Musselburgh. It is situated under, Carbery Hill, and has a large distillery."

"COCKENZIE, a quoad sacra parish in the parishes of Tranent and Prestonpans, in the county of Haddington, Scotland, 1 mile N.E. of Prestonpans. It is situated on the Frith of Forth, and ranks as a subport to Leith. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the salt-works and fisheries. The living is in the presbytery of Haddington, and in the patronage of the male communicants."

"ELPHINSTONE, a village in the parish of Tranent, county Haddington, Scotland, 2 miles S. of Tranent. It is situated on the road from Dalkeith to Haddington. The estate belonged to the Johnstones in the 15th century. There is a square tower here of the 14th century; the mansion to which it is attached was built some two centuries later. Most of the inhabitants are employed in the colliery."

"MEADOW MILL, a village in the parish of Tranent, county Haddington, Scotland, near Preston-Pans."

"PORTSEATON, a village in the parish of Tranent, county Haddington, Scotland, 2 miles N.E. of Prestonpans, and 1 mile from the port of Cockenzie on the Frith of Forth. It is a small fishing village founded by the Seatons, who had a castle here, which was destroyed by the English army in 1544.

"SEATON, (or Seton), an ancient parish in the county of Haddington, Scotland, 2 miles E. of Prestonpans. It is situated near Portseaton, and is in conjunction with Tranent parish, to which it was annexed after the Reformation. Seaton derives its name from Seiher de Say, a Norman who settled here in the reign of David I., and was ancestor of the Setons of Pitmedden. Seaton House is a modern castellated mansion erected on the site of the seat of the Seatons, Earls of Wintoun, who entertained James VI. and Charles II. here. The church is now in ruins. It gives title of baron to the Earl of Eglinton.

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

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[Last updated at 21.03 on Thursday, 27 March 2003, Gaz3 v01.25, by David Howie. 2000]

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