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Parish of Humbie

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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1791-99: Humbie
1834-45: Humbie

Humbie, a parish in the south-western extremity of Haddingtonshire. It consists of a main body and a small detached section, and it comprehends the ancient parishes of Keith and Humbie, called at the end of the 17th century Keith-Symmars and Keith-Hundeby. The main body is bounded NW by Ormiston, NE by Salton and Bolton, E by Yester, SE by Channelkirk in Berwickshire, SW by Soutra, and W by Fala in Edinburghshire ; and it contains the post office of Upper Keith, 2 miles NE of Blackshiels. The detached section, lying ¾ mile SW of the western boundary of the main body, is entirely surrounded by Edinburghshire ; and contains Blackshiels post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, 3½ miles ENE of Tynehead station. The main body has an utmost length from NNW to SSE of 51/8 miles, an utmost breadth from E to W of 41/8 miles, and an area of 8797¼ acres ; whilst the detached section, measuring 13/8 mile by 7 furlongs in extreme length and breadth, is 518½ acres in area. The drainage is carried northward to the Tyne by Keith, Humbie, and Birns Waters ; and the surface, declining to 370 feet above sea-level in the extreme N, thence rises southward to the Lammermuirs, attaining 600 feet near Humbie House, 616 near Upper Keith, 1158 near Blegbie, and 1431 at the south-eastern border. The southern district, as part of the Lammermuirs, approaching within ¾ mile of Lammer Law (1733 feet) in Yester parish, is mostly heath or upland pasture ; but the central and northern districts, comparatively low and level, share the general character of the great plain of Haddington, and contain a great aggregate of park and wood. One stretch of forest, bearing the name of Humbie and Salton Wood, begins near the parish church, and extends 1½ mile northward to the northern boundary, and ½ mile further into Salton parish. Silurian rocks predominate in the uplands, and rocks of the Carboniferous formation extend beneath the plain. Traces are found of iron ore and coal. The soil on the uplands is much of it mossy ; in the eastern parts of the low grounds, is a fine light gravel, well adapted to the turnip husbandry ; and in the northern parts, is variously rich clay, loam, and light gravel. Faint vestiges of a Roman castellum are on Whitburgh estate, and in front of Keith House are remains of a pre-Reformation chapel. Humbie House, 3½ miles NE of Blackshiels, is a seat of Lord Polwarth, his grandfather early in the present century having succeeded the Hepburnes in this estate, as great-grandson of Helen Hepburne, Countess of Tarras. (See Harden.) Keith House and Whitburgh are noticed separately ; and the chief proprietors are the Earl of Hopetoun and Lord Polwarth, the rest of the parish being divided into small estates, each of a single farm. Humbie is in the presbytery of Haddington and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale ; the living is worth £406. The parish church, 6½ miles NE of Tynehead station, was built in 1800, and contains 400 sittings. There is also a Free church ; and three schools-.Crossroads public, Humbie public, and Leaston Christian Knowledge Society's-.with respective accommodation for 128, 102, and 53 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 73, 37, and 29, and grants of £63, 14s. 6d., £26, 12s., and £21, 7s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £9247, (1879) £11,823, 11s., (1883) £10,141, 10s. Pop. (1801) 785, (1831) 875, (1861) 997, (1871) 967, (1881) 907.—Ord. Sur., sh. 33, 1863.

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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