East Linton

East Lothian

Fountain, The Square, East Linton
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Fountain, The Square, East Linton

Located at the mouth of a gorge carved by the River Tyne, 22 miles (35 km) east of Edinburgh, East Linton's 16th-century bridge established the village's importance on the Edinburgh-London road. Today the A1 trunk road bypasses the village to the south ensuring its preservation. Its buildings include the 18th-century Prestonkirk parish church which incorporates a remarkable 13th-century chancel, a burial site of the Smeaton family. The church also includes the graves of important agriculturists including Andrew Meikle who invented the threshing machine.

There are several houses, pantiled cottages, a mill and a kiln from the 18th Century. Nearby is Preston Mill (17th-century), Phantassie Doocot, the Museum of Flight (at East Fortune), and the planned estate village of Tyninghame. Hailes Castle, 2 miles to the south, was probably built by the Earls of Dunbar in the 13th or 14th centuries. It includes a 16th-century chapel and was in the hands of the Gourlay and Hepburn families before being brought down in 1650 by Cromwell.

East Linton had a cattle market and in the 19th century it was an important milling and farming centre, holding weekly hiring markets for migrant labourers. It prospered in this period through its accessibility by road and later the railway. East Linton had a station from 1846 until 1964, when it fell victim to the Beeching cuts, but the East Coast Main Line still runs through the village.

The artist John Pettie (1839-93) was brought up in East Linton and the noted civil engineer John Rennie was born in nearby Phantassie in 1761.

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