Online Encyclopedia

HADDINGTONSHIRE, or EAST LOTHIAN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 797 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HADDINGTONSHIRE, or EAST LOTHIAN, a south-eastern county of Scotland, bounded N. by the Firth of Forth, N.E. by the North Sea, E., S.E. and S. by Berwickshire, and S.W. and W. by Edinburghshire. It covers an area of 171,o11 acres, or 267 sq. m. Its sea-coast measures 41 M. The Bass Rock and Fidra Isle belong'to the shire; and there are numerous rocks and reefs off the shore, especially between Dunbar and Gullane Bay. Broadly speaking, the northern half of the shire slopes gently to the coast, and the southern half is hilly. Several of the peaks of the Lammermuirs exceed 1500 ft., and the more level tract is broken by Traprain Law (724) in the parish of Prestonkirk, North Berwick Law (612), and Garleton Hill (590) to the north of the county town. The only important river is the Tyne, which rises to the south-east of Borthwick in Mid-Lothian, and, taking a generally north-easterly direction, reaches the sea just beyond the park of Tynninghame House, after a course of 28 m., for the first 7 M. of which it belongs to its parent shire. It is noted for a very fine variety of trout, and salmon are sometimes taken below the linn at East Linton. The Whiteadder rises in the parish of Whittingehame, but, flowing towards the south-east, leaves the shire and at last joins the Tweed near Berwick. There are no natural lakes, but in the parish of Stenton is found Pressmennan Loch, an artificial sheet of water of somewhat serpentine shape, about 2 M. in length, with a width of some 400 yds., which was constructed in 1819 by damming up the ravine in which it lies. The banks are wooded and picturesque, and the water abounds with trout. Geology.—The higher ground in the south, including the Lammermuir Hills, is formed by shales, greywackes and grits of Ordovician and Silurian age; a narrow belt of the former lying on the north-western side of the latter, the strike being S.W. to N.E. The granitic mass of Priestlaw and other felsitic rocks have been intruded into these strata. The lower Old Red Sandstone has not been observed in this county, but the younger sandstones and conglomerates fill up ancient depressions in the Silurian and Ordovician, such as that running northward from Oldhamstocks towards Dunbar and the valley of Lauderdale. A faulted-in tract of the same formation, about 1 m. in breadth, runs westward from Dunbar to near Gifford. Carboniferous rocks form the remainder of the county. The Calciferous Sandstone series, shales,'thin limestones and sandstones, is exposed on the south-eastern coast; but between Gifford and North Berwick and from Aberlady to Dunbar it is represented by a great thickness of volcanic rocks consisting of tuffs and coarse breccias in the lower beds, and of porphyritic and andesitic lavas above. These rocks are well exposed on the coast, in the Garleton Hills and Traprain Law; the latter and North Berwick Law are volcanic and North Berwick. The shire is under school-board jurisdiction, and besides high schools at Haddington and North Berwick, some of the elementary schools earn grants for higher education. The county council spends a proportion of the " residue " grant in supporting short courses of instruction in technical subjects (chiefly agriculture), in experiments in the feeding of cattle and the growing of crops, and in defraying the travelling expenses of technical students. History.—Of the Celts, who were probably the earliest in-habitants, traces are found in a few place names and circular camps (in the parishes of Garvald and Whittinghame) and hill forts (in the parish of Bolton). After the Roman occupation, of which few traces remain, the district formed part of the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria until ror8, when it was joined to Scotland by Malcolm II. It was comparatively prosperous till the wars of Bruce and Baliol, but from that period down to the union of the kingdoms it suffered from its nearness to the Border and from civil strife. The last battles fought in the county were those of Dunbar (1650) and Prestonpans (1745). See J. Miller, History of Haddington (1844); D. Croal, Sketches of East Lothian (Haddington, 1873); John Martine, Reminiscences of the County of Haddington (Haddington, 1890, 1894); Dr Wallace James, Writs and Charters of Haddington (Haddington, 1898).
End of Article: HADDINGTONSHIRE, or EAST LOTHIAN
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