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Whittinghame

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

Whittingham, a village and a parish of Haddingtonshire. The village stands within 1½ miles of the northern border of the parish, 3 miles SSE of East Linton station,6 E of Haddington, and 7½ WSW of Dunbar, and contains the parish church, the public school, and a post office under Prestonkirk. There is also a horticultural society. The baronial courts of the Earls of March formerly had their seat in Whittingham parish.
The parish, comprehending the ancient chapelries of Whittingham and Penshiel, long subordinate to Dunbar, is bounded N by Prestonkirk, NE and E by Stenton, SE and S by Cranshaws and Longformacus in Berwickshire, W by Garvald and NW by Morham. Its utmost length, from NNW to ESE, is 11 miles; its breadth varies between l 1/8 miles and 5¼ miles; and its area is 15466 acres. A portion of the parish, comprising 129 acres, and forming part of Dunbar Common, was transferred by the Boundary Commissioners in 1891 to the parish of Stenton. Whittinham or the Papana Burn, formed by the confluence of two head-streams near Garvald church, runs 4 7/8 miles north- north -eastward on its way to the sea at Belhaven Bay-for 3 miles across the northern interior, and elsewhere along the western and northern boundaries. It winds here through a beautiful sylvan dell, and at the point where it quits the parish is joined by Souchet Water, running 2 5/8 miles north-by-eastward along the eastern boundary. WHITADDER WA'I'ER, rising near the middle of the parish at an altitude of 1100 feet, runs 4 7/8 miles south-south-eastward, for 2 1/8 through the southern interior, and then along the boundary with Stenton; and together with Kingside, Kell, Faseny, and other tributary burns, drains all the southern portion of the parish. In the extreme NE the surface declines to 190, in the extreme SE to 700 feet above the sea; and chief elevations, from N to S, are Whitelaw Hill (584 feet),Clints Dod (1307), and Redstone Rig (1382). The northern district is gently undulating, and presents that richness of aspect which so eminently characterises the Haddingtonshire lowlands; the middle district, up to a line a little N of the source of Whitadder Water, rises slowly and gradually, with alternating elevations and depressions, and commands from its higher grounds a magnificent view of much of the Lothians, the Firth of Forth, the German Ocean, and the East Neuk of Fife; and the southern district consists entirely of a portion of the LAMMERMUIR HILLS. Greywacke and red sandstone are the predominant rocks, and the latter has been largely quarried. The soil of the arable lands on the left side of Whittingham Water is generally of superior quality-some of it a deep rich loam, equal to the best in any other parts of the county; that of the arable lands on the right side of the stream is partly a poor clay, partly a good light loam, and mostly light and sandy. About 200 acres are under wood, and little more than one-fifth of the entire area is in tillage, nearly all the remainder being hill-pasture. The massive, square, battlemented keep of Whittingham Castle where the Earl of Morton and Bothwell are said to have plotted the murder of Darnley beneath a yew tree (probably 600 years old, and now 11 feet in girth), is still in good repair, though showing marks of great antiquity. It stands on elevated. ground overlooking Whittingham Water, surrounded by many natural beauties, improved by the embellishments of art. Ruins of the baronial strongholds of Stoneypath and Penshiel still exist; and an oval camp, in a state of tolerable preservation, is on Priest Law, one of the Lammermuir Hills. It is strongly and regulalry fortified, having four ditches on the N side and three on each of the other sides, measuring about 2000 feet in circumference. A pre-Reformation chapel stood below Penshiel Tower, in a glen still called from it Chapelhaugh; and an ancient religious house has left some traces on the estate of Papple. Perhaps the most interesting antiquity is an ancient burying-ground, traceable only as a black mark in a fied, where a few years ago 200 stone cists were accidentally turned up. The, field is called Kirklands, and probably contained a kirk of the Celtic Church 1000 years ago. Whittingham House, on the right bank of Whittingham Water, 3¼ miles SSE of East Linton, is a large Grecian edifice of light-coloured sandstone, erected after the purchase of the estate by James Balfour, Esq., in 1817. it has a broad W terrace (1871), three magnificent approaches, fine views, and beautifully wooded grounds, which contain the castle and yew mentioned above. A blue gum from Australia, planted in 1846, is 53 feet, high, and 8 1/3in girth at 1 foot from the ground. The present owner is the Right Hon. Arthur James Balfour M.P., LL.D. (b. 1848; suc. 1856). His brother, Francis Maitland Balfour (1851-82), was an eminent embriyologist. Ruchlaw, a mansion of some antiquity, 3¾ miles SSW of East Linton, is the seat of Thomas Buchan Sydserff, Esq. (b. 1822; suc. 1839). Whittingham is in the presbytery of Dunbar and the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the stipend is £325 with manse. The parish church, at the village, was built in 1722, and as improved in 1822, and again (internally) in 1876, contains 260 sittings. Two public schools - Whittingham and Kingside combination, with respective accommodation for 90 and 24 children, have an average attendance of about 50 and 15, and grants amounting to nearly £60 and £25. Valuation (1885) £8252, 4s. (1893) £6403.
Pop. (1801) 658, (1831) 715, (1861) 710, (1871) 657 (1881) 639, (1891) 586. See John Small's Castles and Mansions of the Lothians (1883)

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