East Lothian

©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland


Located 3 miles (5 km) northeast of Haddington, the East Lothian village of Athelstaneford takes its name from a perhaps mythical battle between the Saxon King Athelstane and the Pictish King Hungus which is supposed to have taken place in the 9th Century. The Scottish Flag Heritage Centre in the village commemorates the battle and the appearance of the Cross of St. Andrew in the sky which inspired the Picts and became the flag of Scotland.

The village has changed little since it was constructed as a model village in the late 18th Century by Sir David Kinloch of Gilmerton, to improve the housing conditions of local farm-workers, who were provided with well-proportioned housing and a sizeable garden for a nominal rent. A weaving industry was established in the village, which became noted for a striped cloth, although this has now disappeared.

John Home (1722 - 1808), the playwright, was minister at Athelstaneford between 1847 and 1857 and the painter Archibald Skirving (1749 - 1819) was born here.

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