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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Garvald, a village and a parish in Haddingtonshire. The village stands towards the N of the parish, 450 feet above sea-level, on the left bank of Papana Water, 5¼ miles S of East Linton station, and 5 ¾ ESE of Haddington; it has a post office under Prestonkirk.

The present parish, comprising the ancient parishes of Garvald and Bara, united in 1702, is bounded N, NE, E, and SE by Whittingham, S by Lauder in Berwickshire, W by Yester and Haddington, and NW by Morham. Its utmost length, from NNE to SSW, is 8 1/8 miles; its breadth varies between 13/8 and 4¼ miles; and its area is 13, 442 acres. The northern division, comprising about one-fourth of the entire area, is a lowland tract, all rich in the characters of soil, cultivation, and beauty, that mark the great plain of East Lothian; but the other divisions consist of portions of the Lammermuir Hills, ascending to their watershed at the Berwickshire border, and are mostly bleak, heathy, and mossy, with occasional patches of verdure. In the N the surface declines to 390 feet above sea-level, and rises thence to 900 at Snawdon, 1250 at Rangely Kipp, and 1631 at Lowrans Law. Hope's Water and two other head-streams of Gifford Water, descending from the southern heights, unite near the western boundary, and pass into Yester on their way to the Tyne. Papana Water rises on the south-eastern border, and, winding 5 miles northward through the interior, past the village, to the northern boundary, proceeds thence, under different names, to the sea at Belhaven Bay; within this parish it runs along a very rocky bed, and is subject to violent freshets, sweeping down stones of great weight, and overflowing portions of its banks. In 1755 it rose to so great a volume as to flood some houses in the village to the depth of 3 feet. The rocks in the N include excellent sandstone, which has been quarried; and those of the hills are chiefly Silurian. The soil in the N is a deep rich clay; in the NE is of a light gravelly nature; and on the hills is thin and spongy. An ancient circular camp, 1500 feet in circumference, is on Garvald farm, and four or five others are dotted over the hills. Whitecastle and Yester Castle, the chief antiquities, are noticed separately, as likewise are the two mansions, Hopes and Nunraw. Four proprietors hold each an annual value of more, and two of less, than £500. Garvald is in the presbytery of Haddington and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £303. The parish church, at the village, is an old building, enlarged in 1829, and containing 360 sittings. There is also a Free church; and a public school, with accommodation for 110 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 75, and a grant of £57, 18s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £9444, (1878) £10,046, 19s., (1883) £9320, 10s. Pop. (1801) 749, (1831) 914, (1861) 891, (1871) 832, (1881) 758.—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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