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Parish of Innerwick

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: Innerwick
1834-45: Innerwick

Innerwick, a village and a coast parish of E Haddingtonshire. The village stands 300 feet above sea-level, at the base of a steep cultivated hill, 1½ mile W by S of Innerwick station on the North British railway, this being 4 miles ESE of Dunbar, under which it has a post office.

The parish, containing also the small harbour of Skateraw, is bounded N W by Dunbar, NE by the German Ocean, SE by Oldhamstocks, S by Longformacus in Berwickshire, and W by a detached section of Stenton and by the main body of Spott. Irregular in outline, it has an utmost length from NNE to SSW of 10 miles, a varying breadth of 1¼ and 3¾ miles, and an area of 13,424¼ acres, of which 267 are foreshore. The coast, measured along its indentations, has a length of 2¼ miles, and it presents a tamely rugged and rocky appearance. An upland watershed bisects the parish nearly through the middle; and sends off Thornton Burn and other streamlets east-north-eastward to the German Ocean, and Monynut Water and other streamlets south-south-eastward into Berwickshire towards the Whitadder. About two-thirds of the entire surface, comprising a portion ENE of the watershed and all the sections from the watershed to the southern boundary, are parts of the Lammermuir Hills, and present an upland, bleak, and desolate appearance; the loftier summits here from N to S being Blackcastle Hill (917 feet), Cocklaw Hill (1046), Bransby Hill (1300), and Peat Law (1209). A series of ravines, intersecting the east-north-eastern declivities of the hills, exhibits pleasing features of verdure and wood, and overlooks charming prospects towards the ocean, whilst a luxuriant and very fertile plain lies all between the foot of these ravines and the shore, and is embellished in three places with plantation. The rocks are principally Silurian and Devonian, but partly carboniferous; and they include abundance of sandstone and limestone, with some ironstone, bituminous shale, and thin seams of coal. About four-ninths of the land are regularly or occasionally in tillage; plantations cover some 350 acres; and the rest is either pastoral or waste. Innerwick Castle, now a ruin, on a steep eminence overhanging a rocky glen, 1 mile E of Innerwick village, from the Stewarts passed to the Hamiltons, and was captured and demolished in 1548 by the Duke of Somerset during his invasion of Scotland. Thornton Castle, crowning an eminence on the other side of the glen, opposite Innerwick Castle, was a stronghold of Lord Home, and suffered the same fate from the same hands as Innerwick Castle, like which it is now a ruin. A bridge called Edinkens, a little S of these two castles, has been associated variously with the names of King Edwin of Northumbria and King Edward of England, and now is represented by slight remains. Four ancient standing stones formerly stood near that bridge; two stone coffins, containing a dagger and a ring, were found in a field near Dryburn Bridge; and a place called Corsekill Park, near Innerwick village, is alleged to have been the scene of an encounter between Cospatrick and Sir William Wallace. An ancient chapel dedicated to St Dennis stood on the Skateraw shore, but has utterly disappeared. Thurston, noticed separately, is the chief residence; and 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 3 of between £100 and £500, 1 of from £50 to £100, and 2 of from £20 to £50. Innerwick is in the presbytery of Dunbar and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £360. The parish church, standing on an eminence in Innerwick village, is a very plain structure of 1784. There is also a Free church; and a public school, with accommodation for 76 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 39, and a grant of £24, 7s. Valuation (1879) £12,605, 5s., (1883) £11, 425, 12s. Pop. (1801) 846, (1831) 987, (1861) 937, (1871) 892, (1881) 777.—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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