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Saturday, 7 May 2011

East Lothian

Near Peebles we have West Linton, lin being an old word for a stream, and ton being settlement.  There must be dozens of Lintons around the country, but where there is a West Linton you surely expect to find an East Linton, and so you do – find one, that is – though it’s a bit of a journey away, over in East Lothian, the county east of Edinburgh. Its “lin” was the river Tyne – not the Tyne that flows to the sea at Newcastle but another one.  The village used to sit along the Great North Road, now the A1,  but has been bypassed for many a long year now.   east linton inn Originally the village was a staging post, where long distance travellers would stop to dine or spend the night, and horses were rested or changed before continuing their journey.  One of the village inns is the Linton Inn which was where Linda and I had lunch one day recently. east linton mill lane2 The river, like many others, was a source of power for many mills along its banks, and the building on the right of the above photo, standing at the bridge end looks like it was once one of them.  Now sadly minus wheel, it is a private house, its front door being on the first rather than ground floor, and reached by a flight of stone steps.  I love the little Mill Lane  winding past it.

east linton mill


The view of the river from the parapet of the bridge, on the mill side, is very pretty.  The mill being right on the water’s edge there was probably no need for a mill stream taking the water from the river to run the water wheel.east linton river   At times like this when the water was fairly low,and probably wouldn’t reach the water wheel, I wonder whether they would have an alternative method for running the mill.  Maybe the wheel was inside and there was a mill lade taking water inside.

east lothian 003Note. Having looked up mills in East Linton on the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, I can find no record of this being a mill.  Linton Mill was further along  that Mill Lane in front of the building on Bridgend.  That’s probably it in the  far distance!

However, there is another mill on the River Tyne that has survived for several centuries.   preston mill, east linton It is the picturesque  Preston Mill on the north bank of the Tyne, and it does have a mill lade bringing water down from the river to power the  mill wheel and then return it to the river.  There has been a mill here  since at least the 12th century apparently, though most of the present building only goes back to the 17th century .

preston mill and wheel

It  was a meal mill, and now owned by the National Trust for Scotland it is open to the public during the summer months June till September.  It’s years since I was there but I seem to remember it still works!   The funny little conical building served as the drying kiln for the grain before it was ground in the rectangular building itself.east linton smeatons

Nearby is the garden centre where  later we were able to sit in the sun drinking tea and devouring homebaked cake, while looking across the walled garden that forms the garden centre. fave bg




I was surprised to find out that the Smeaton estate was until 1934 in the possession of the Buchan-Hepburn family.  Our local beautiful Kailzie Gardens is owned by the present Lady Buchan Hepburn.  I was speaking to her only last week when I was visiting Kailzie.  (Name dropper, eh?)

new crop nb Our next stop was at North Berwick having passed by this field of  new growth, at the back of the town in the shadow of Berwick Law.berwick law nb


Coming down into the town we stopped by the sea where once more I took photos of  the Bass Rock – like Berwick Law a plug from a prehistoric volcano.  I still can’t get over how good the zoom is on my camera.bass from nb bass rock




You can see the lighthouse so clearly.  The rock is white because of the covering of gannets nesting on the island!  nb sandcastle

At last it was time to head for home, so I’ll leave you with one last photo, an abandoned sandcastle on the beach left to the mercy of the next high tide! 

Talk again soon.

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