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Oldhamstocks

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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Oldhamstock (anc. Aldhamstoc, ' old dwelling-place '), a village of E Haddingtonshire, and a parish partly also in Berwickshire. The village stands on the left bank of Oldhamstock Burn, 3 miles S of Innerwick station, 18½ E by S of Haddington, and 3 ¼ W by S of Cockburnspath, under which it has a post office. It contains the parish church of Oldhamstock, an ancient edifice, the Free church of Cockburnspath, and a public school; and fairs are held here on the last Thursday of July and September.

The parish, containing also the village of Bilsdean, consists of a main body, chiefly in Haddingtonshire, partly in Berwickshire, and a detached section entirely in Berwickshire. The main body is bounded NE by the German Ocean, E by Cockburnspath, S by Abbey St Bathans, and SW and NW by Innerwick. Its utmost length, from NE to SW, is 5 ¾ miles; its width varies between 7½ furlongs and 2½ miles; and its area is 7530 acres, of which 110¾ are foreshore, and 927½ (in the extreme S) belong to Berwickshire. The detached section, containing Grant's House station, lies 1 5/8 mile E of the nearest point of the main body, and is bounded NW by Cockburnspath, NE and SE by Coldingham, and SW by Abbey St Bathans. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 2 1/8 miles; its utmost breadth is 1¾ mile; and its area is 1419¾ acres. Oldhamstock Burn, drawing head-streams from Innerwick, winds 2 miles east-by-northward across the interior to Berwick or Dunglass Burn, which runs 4½ miles north-north-eastward along the Berwickshire border to the sea, through the deep wooded ravine of Dunglass Dean. Monynut Water, a tributary of the Whitadder, runs 2 ¼ miles south-eastward along the south-western boundary; and Eye Water meanders 3½ miles along all the south-western and south-eastern sides of the detached district. The coast, only 1 5/8 mile long, trends south-eastward -to the mouth of Dunglass Burn, and presents a bold rocky front to the German Ocean, rising rapidly to a height of over 100 feet. Thence onward the surface ascends to the Lammermuirs' watershed, chief elevations being *Cocklaw Hill (1046 feet), Wightman Hill (1153), Heart Law (1283), *Corse Law (1042), and *Laughing Law (1008), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish. In the detached district the altitude ranges from 390 to 672 feet. The rocks of the hills are Silurian, of the seaboard are carboniferous; and coal has been worked in a stratum lying near the surface, whilst sandstone, limestone, and ironstone are found. The soil is generally sharp and dry, very fertile towards the sea, but barren and heathy on the hills. Antiquities are Castledykes, close to Bilsdean, and the site of Kilspindie Castle-in the detached district. Dunglass, noticed separately, is the only mansion; but 3 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, 3 of less, than £500. Oldhamstock is in the presbytery of Dunbar and the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £409. The public school, with accommodation for 109 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 64, and a grant of £65. Valuation (1860) £4618, (1884) £6895, of which £1659 was for the two Berwickshire portions. Pop. (1801) 575, (1831) 720, (1861) 615, (1871) 592, (1881) 568, of whom 449 were in Haddingtonshire.—Ord. Sur., shs. 33, 34, 1863-64.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available.

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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