GENUKI Home page

Tynninghame Index Tynninghame GENUKI Index Contents

Tynninghame

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

Tyninghame, an ancient parish of Haddingtonshire, annexed to WHITEKIRK Since 1761, and containing Tyninghame village, 2 miles NE of Prestonkirk or East Linton, under which it has a post office. The name, which means 'the hamlet on the Tyne,' graphically describes the position of the village, 300 yards from the northern margin of the Tyne, on a beautiful piece of round which gently slopes to the rivers edge. ' The original church was founded by Bathere the anchorite,better known as St Baldred of the Bass, who died in 756, when, according to Bellenden, ' the parishioners of Auldham, Tyningham, and Preston contended whilk of them should have his body to decore their kirk; but on the morrow they fand, by miracle of God, three beirs with three bodies, na thing discrepant frae others in quantity, colour, nor raiment. And so the body of this haly man lies be miracle in all the three kirks.' In 941, according to Hoveden and the Chronica de Mailros, Anlaf the Dane spoiled the church of St Baldred, and burned the village of Tyninghame; and in 1094 a charter of Duncan granted to St Cuthbert, ie to the church of Durham, Tyninghame and five other places in Haddingtonshire, three of which - Aldham, Scougal,and Knowes - are in the present united parish. The church of Tyninghame enjoyed of old the privilege of sanctuary. Patrick de Leuchars, who was rector of it in the reign of David ll., rose to be Bishop of Brechin and chancellor of Scotland; and George Brown, who was rector in the reign of James III., was raised by the party who overthrew that monarch to be ,Bishop of Dunkeld, and joined them in hunting the king to death on the field of Sauchieburn. The manor of Tyninghame, with the patronage of the church, anciently belonged to the Bishops of St Andrews, and was included in their regality lying on the S side of the Forth. In 1553, it appears to have been conferred by Archbishop Hamilton on St Mary's College in St Andrews; but in 1565 a complaint was made by the parishioners to the General Assembly, that though they paid their tithes to the college, they had as yet received from it the benefit neither of preaching nor the administration of sacraments. The manor, held for a time under the archbishop by the Earl of Haddington, in 1628 was obtained by him in chartered right under the Great Seal; and it thence became the home-domain, the beautiful seat, gradually the richly embellished forest and park-ground of the noble family. The estate is famed in the E of Scotland for the extent and singular beauty of its woods and its holly-hedges. More than 800 acres wave with trees, chiefly of the various hardwood species, and arranged in the most tasteful forms of forest. In 1705, Thomas, sixth Earl of Haddington, instigated by his countess, the sister of the first Earl of Hopetoun, commenced planting operations on a great scale; and he must, in reference to their date and their influence, and to the efforts which he used to provoke imitations of his example, be regarded as the originator of the thousands of fine expanses of modern plantation which now so generally beautify Scotland. His first exploit was to plant Binning Wood, a forest of 400 acres, over the whole face of what was then a moorish common called Tyninghame Moor. The trees were arranged in thirteen rides or avenues, converging at four different points in an open glade. The Earl next drew sheltering belts along the enclosures of fields; and then - boldly putting to the test a received opinion, that no trees would grow near the shore - he planted some expanses of sandy ground upon the beach. Finding that his trees grew and were thriving, he determined to 'fight no more with the, cultivation of bad land, but to plant it all.' Thus arose a forest which while the earliest modern one in Scotland, is excelled by none in the lowlands for the beauty of either its trees or its arrangements. The holly hedges were planted by the same earl, and they more than rival the forest in fame. Aggregately extending to about 9000 feet, they have a breadth of 10 to 13 feet at the base and a height of from 15 to 25 feet; they are arranged in double rows, flanking very spacious walks or avenues; and they are kept with great care, and in constant conservation. Numerous single hollies, each about 60 feet high, and of proportionate circumference, are interspersed with the forest, and enliven its aspect. Vast damage was done by the gale of 14 Oct. 1881, which felled no fewer than 30,000 trees on the estate, including the 'Trysting Tree' (a beech 21½ feet in girth, and bearing date 1623), On 26 Aug. 1878 the Queen drove through the park, which she describes as 'really beautiful, reminding one of Windsor and Windsor Forest.'
Tyninghame House stands ¼ mile. from the N bank of the Tyne and 2¾ miles NE of East Linton. Though a patchwork of pieces added by successive Earls, it was so altered and enlarged about 1829 by Mr. Burn, who refaced the whole with native red sandstone, as to present the appearance of a large and handsome mansion, semi-Elizabethan, with small Scotch towers, and a beautiful terrace garden. The interior retains, with little alterations, its origi nal form, and is adorned with portraits of Queen Mary and James VI., of the second Earl by Vandyke, of the eighth Earl and Countess and of Gen. Lord Rothes by Sir Joshua reynolds, of Canning by Lawrence, etc. Between the mansion and the river, embosomed in a clump of wood, are two fine Norman arches, the only remains of the ancient church, and now the family cemetery of the Earls. Near the house, too, is a fine obelisk to the sixth Earl and Countess. George Arden Baillie Hamilton is the present and eleventh Earl since 1619 (b. 1827; suc. 1870). See MELLERSTAIN, LENNEL House, JERVISWOOD; the Rev. A. I. Ritchie's Churches of St Baldred (1881); Jn. Small's Castles and Mansions of the Lothians (1883); the Rev. P. Hately Waddell's An Old Kirk Chronicle (1893).

Do you wish to report problems or contribute information?

Last updated 5 March 2003

Valid HTML 4.01!