East Lothian

©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland


Stenton is a picturesque agricultural village located in East Lothian 4½ miles (7 km) southwest of Dunbar and 2½ miles (4 km) southeast of East Linton. Meaning 'stone town', the village in its farmland setting has many well-preserved buildings of architectural and historical interest and has gained the status of an 'Outstanding Conservation Area', first designated in 1969. Most of the buildings are of a characteristic pink-purple sandstone, with orange pantile roofs, set around several greens. The consistency of finish and appearance is almost unmatched elsewhere in East Lothian. The village pre-dates agricultural improvement and can be traced back to around 1500. Its importance in terms of agriculture is reflected by the weekly cattle and sheep markets which were held here between 1681 and 1862. The restored Mercat Post and Scales on the East Green are a reminder of these markets. Community facilities include a primary school, shop and post office, village hall and bowling green.

The Gothic Parish Church looks somewhat oversized for the village and was built in 1829 by William Burn (1789 - 1870). It was built on a T-plan and benefits from some fine late 19th Century stained glass. Considerable remains of the 16th Century Old Parish Church remain in evidence just to the northeast, including a prominent tower. The kirkyard includes a number of 17th and 18th Century monuments.

To the southwest lie the 17th Century Rushlaw House and the 19th Century Whittingehame House, family home of British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour (1848 - 1930).

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