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Tyne, River

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Tyne, a river of Lothian, originating in Edinburghshire, but belonging almost wholly to Haddingtonshire, and draining the larger part of its area. The stream- with the characteristic unsettledness of the nomenclature of Haddingtonshire streams-gathers many head-waters, and runs a large part of its course before its name ceases to be capricious and disputed. One early rivulet called the Tyne issues from a lochlet in the extreme E of Borthwick parish, and has a run of 7 miles northward before it enters Haddingtonshire. Over this distance it divides Borthwick on the W from Crichton on the E, sweeps past the village of Ford, and cuts Cranston into nearly equal parts; and after entering Haddingtonshire it describes the segment of a circle from a northerly to an easterly direction, over a distance of between 4 and 5 miles, through the parishes of Ormiston and Pencaitland, to a confluence ½ mile E of Easter Pencaitland, whence all debate ceases respecting the application of the name. Another rivulet, which claims to be the infant Tyne, is itself a collection of four or five head-streams, which rise in Borthwick, in Fala, in Soutra, and in the extreme S of Humbie, and, after courses of from 4 to 6½ miles, attain a general confluence ¾ mile below Humbie church; and after this confluence the stream proceeds 3 miles northward to join the competing head-rivulet of the Tyne-less than it in length of run, but considerably greater in volume of water. The Tyne, now of quite a fixed name, flows north-eastward, nearly across the centre of the lowlands of the county, to the sea at Tyninghame, 2¾ miles NW of Dunbar, performing a run of 16 miles, or 28 if measured from its remotest source. Till it enters Haddington parish it moves alternately on and near the boundaries between Pencaitland and Gladsmuir on the left and Haddington on the right; and it afterwards moves principally in the interior of Haddington, Prestonkirk, and Whitekirk. Its banks are studded with numerous and beautiful mansions, with the capital of the county, and with the villages of Pencaitland, Nisbet, Samuelston, Abbey, East Linton, Prestonkirk, and Tyninghame. Its current is placid, in many places dull and sluggish; but near East Linton it forms a kind of rapid, and tumbles over some broken rocks. Its whole course is through a rich agricultural country, abounding in all the embellishments of culture, but quite devoid of bold or striking features. Proportionately to its length of run it is a small stream, and viewed intrinsically it scarcely claims to be more than a rivulet; but it is subject to inundations of such suddenness and magnitude, as, if not restrained by embankments, would work enormous havoc. (See Haddington.) The tide affects it over a distance of 2 miles, and expands at high-water into an extensive lake on what are called the Salt-Greens, in front of Tyninghame House. The Greens form a very fine feature in the grounds around that magnificent residence, and are now a glittering sheet of water, and now an expanse of verdant sward dotted over with sheep, and, in summer, thickly powdered with sea-pink. The river is of much value for driving corn-mills. Its trout fishing is often very good; and salmon and sea-trout also ascend it.—Ord. Sur., shs. 32, 33, 1857-63. See Sir T. Dick Lander's Scottish Rivers (Edinb. 1874).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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