PRESTONPANS A SMALL TOWN WITH A LARGE HISTORY

Two important battle sites, Battle of Prestonpans and Battle of Pinkie Cleuch, One of the oldest golf courses and a memorial to Robert Burns and the 81 witches falsely accused of being witches.

Map of route Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite Army marched.

Prestonpans to Derby and back to Culloden. September 1745 - April 1746

 1  JOHN O GROATS

 2  INVERNESS

 3  BATTLE OF CULLODEN 1746

 4  ABERDEEN    

 5  FORT WILLIAM

 6  BATTLE OF KILLIECRANKIE  1689

 7  PERTH

 8  SIEGE OF STIRLING CASTLE 1304

 9  BATTLE AT STIRLING BRIDGE  1297

10 BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN   1596

11 BATTLE OF FALKIRK    1298

12 EDINBURGH CAPITAL OF SCOTLAND

13 BATTLE OF PINKIE CLEUGH 1547

14 BATTLE OF PRESTONPANS  1745

15 BATTLE OF DUNBAR    1296

16 BATTLE OF FLODDEN FIELD   1513

17 CARLISLE

18 DERBY

19 ISLE OF SKYE   BRIDGE ON THE TRENT 1745

20 DUNADD FIRST CAPITAL OF SCOTLAND 500 AD

COAST OF BRITAIN

WATER

PRESTONPANS  -  DERBY

DERBY  -  CULLODEN

PRESTONPANS 1745 THE JACOBITE UPRISING The beginning of the end of the fight for the throne of Britain for the Young pretender Charles Edward Stuart known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. The battle for the crown began in Prestonpans on 21 September 1745 and ended in Culloden on 16 April 1746 less than 7 months and thousands of deaths with Charles escaping to France where he lived till his death. After Culloden the English troops run riot through Scotland and made the kilt illegal dress and disbanded the clans a dark time in Scottish history.

THE BATTLE FLAG

The Pyramid marks the area where the Battle of Prestonpans took place in 1745. Bonnie Prince Charlie led the Jacobite Army in a triumph over the English. There is a story board at the summit of the Pyramid with the story of the Jacobite uprising and the route to glory and defeat.

THE BATTLE CAIRN AT PRESTONPANS 

THE GOTHENBURG in Prestonpans built in 1908 still runs under the original Gothenburg Public-house system. Where the majority of the income is given

to charity to benefit the community. The system was originally started in Sweden in 1855 to control the consumption of alcohol.

THE PRESTONPANS MURALS show the history of the area and the Murals Trail starts at the Gothenburg and winds its way around the streets of Prestonpans. There are over 30 Murals to see and include John Knox, The Witches Gate, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns Tam O’Shanter . There is also a number of things to see in the Burns Memorial Garden.  

PRESTONPANS TOTEM POLES

The Totem Pole 32 foot high, that stands across from the Gothenburg was carved from a red cedar tree from Chemainus Vancouver Island British Columbia, Canada. The carvings give a pictorial story of the area and was erected in 2006 when the 6th Global Murals Conference took place in Prestonpans. Halfway up you can see the number 81 in memory of the Witches that were burnt unjustly and then pardoned in 2004. The other 3 Totem poles are caved from a log also given by Chemainus Vancouver Island British Columbia, Canada. and the mural of the Witches Trial can be seen in the play park.

The Witches Gate

The Robert Burns Memorial Garden and Cairn that commemorates the 200th anniversary of Robert Burns death.

Robert Burns Plaque on the gated house 

There are many things to see in Prestonpans, the Prestongrange outdoor museum and Café which is across from part of the John Muir Way that follows the coast of East Lothian where seals can be seen in the shallows. A great place to cycle or walk with fantastic views of Edinburgh. With story boards that show how the Harbour once was. The many murals throughout the town showing the towns history of making soap and salt.

Tam O'Shanter can be found inside the Burns Gated shelter,

next to the Robert Burns Memorial Cairn,

in the Robert Burns memorial Garden.

Translation of  "BETTER A WEE BUSH THAN NAE BIELD" 

"it is better to have some shelter than no shelter at all".

Robert Burns Memorial Shelter.

Robert Burns Memorial Cairn.

The Prestonpans Harbour first known as New Haven was built by the monks of Newbattle Abbey as a shelter to fishermen and their boats in the mid 1500s. 

The name changed and finally was named after the land owners Morrison.

(Morrison's Haven in Prestongrange).

Situated directly across from Prestongrange Museum

Morrison's Haven Prestonpans Harbour

PRESTONPANS MERCAT CROSS

The Mercat Cross that stands in Prestonpans is the oldest remaining Mercat Cross in its original form and position in Scotland. Five Mercat Cross were built in the early 1600s all to the same design and for the same purpose, to make important civic announcements. Edinburgh’s Mercat Cross is still used for government proclamations that affected all of Scotland. An example, announcements concerning successions to the monarchy and the calling to parliament. There is an entrance to steps which bring you out at a platform where the announcements are read. The Unicorn is the ancient emblem of Scotland and stands at the top of the Mercat Cross.

PRESTON TOWER AND GARDENS

Preston Tower is no long accessible but can be seen from the beautiful well-kept gardens. The Tower was built in an L-shape in the late 1300s or early 1400s and was the home of the Hamilton’s of Preston.

The area around the Tower was once called Preston. Preston Tower has had a unlucky past, the Tower has been burnt 3 times 1544, 1650 and again in 1663 and has been vacant since. In the far corner of the gardens is a do’ cot which is still in use by the local pigeons. There is also a very impressive laburnum arch and well manicured gardens.

Preston Tower and Gardens Prestonpans

Preston Tower Prestonpans

The Do ‘cot Preston Tower Gardens

Laburnum Arch Preston Tower Gardens

The Obelisk stands near to Bankton House his family home in Prestonpans.

 

Colonel James Gardiner was one of Sir John Cope's Dragoon commanders at the battle of Prestonpans in 1745.

James Gardiner was born in Carriden West Lothian in 1687 and became a career soldier in the British Army as was his father.  He died gallantly due to wound sustained on the 21st of September 1745 at the Battle of Prestonpans when battling against the Jacobite army of Bonnie Prince Charlie. 

He stood his ground as all around him fled.

To read more detail account of Colonel James Gardiner's Life go www.gutenberg.org

The Life of Col. James Gardiner Who Was Slain at the Battle of Prestonpans, September 21, 1745

Author: P. Doddridge Release Date: February 24, 2004

There is a new memorial in Prestonpans at what is known as the Shrine, not far from the cairn for the Battle of Prestonpans. The new sculpture of two miners digging for coal in a mine shaft was created by a local stonemason Gardner Malloy. Coal mining was a major industry in the area from circa 1200 to 1964 when the East Lothian mines were closed (Meadowmill and Bellyford) the miners were then commuted to Midlothian where there was work. 

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