Aberlady East Lothian Scotland

Aberlady East Lothian is a small village on the east coast of Scotland with a bay and was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1952 being the first to receive the status in Britain. The headquarters of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club is situated in Aberlady and is named after George Waterston, a founder of the club which has a library that has over 3000 books on birds the largest ornithological library in Scotland. 

 Aberlady Bay Bird Sanctuary  Aberlady Bay Port of Haddington

Ballencrieff Castle

Ballencrieff Castle was built in 1586   by John Murray of Blackbarony. In 1617 his brother Sir Gideon Murray, becomes the owner and renovates and extends the Castle. It then is passed on to 1622 –Patrick Murray son of Gideon. Who was later to become Lord Elibank. When Lord Elibank died in 1649 he was laid to rest in the Elibank Aisle, in Aberlady Kirk. In 1743 – Patrick, 5th Lord Elibank, transforms Ballencrieff into a substantial Georgian mansion, with the original Ballencrieff Castle as the main part of the mansion. 1778 George Murray becomes 6th Lord Elibank. He is the last Lord Elibank to be born and to die at Ballencrieff Castle. His nephew Alexander, 7th Lord Elibank inherited the Castle but did not live there and it fell into ruin after a fire in 1868. In 1989 it was purchased by Peter Laing Gillies and Lin Dalgleish who have restored the Castle which took them circa 8 years to complete. The origin remains of the Ballencrieff Castle are on the left of the image below.

Ballencrieff Castle

Kilspindie Castle

Aberlady also has two golf courses Kilspindie where there is an old ruin of Kilspindie Castle and a newer course Craigielaw Golf Club which has great views of the Firth of Forth and Fife.

  Kilspindie Castle sign post

Aberlady Bay Shipwrecks

In the bay at low tide remnants of shipwrecks and mini submarine and can be seen stuck there since the second world war. Aberlady was known as Port of Haddington circa 1635, but a harbour has been written about for centuries, as it was also the main passenger ferry for pilgrims to the isles Iona and Lindisfarne in the 7th century.

 Shipwreck in Aberlady Bay  Aberlady Bay Shipwrecks

Aberlady Parish Church

Aberlady Parish Church has historic records dating back to circa 1450. 1452 a watch Tower was built then later the church was added and further addition were made 1509. Outside the church can be seen a loupin’ on stane which was step to  assist the mounting and dismounting of a horse or coach.

 Aberlady Parish Church  Aberlady Church Loupin off Stane

Aberlady Mercat Cross

Aberlady Mercat Cross has lost its top and stands next to the cross cottage in the main street Aberlady. A mercat Cross will be found in a market towns and villages in Scotland it was where proclamations and news was passed on to the residents. A symbol of authority. The oldest mercat cross still in its original position can be seen in Prestonpans, one of five that have a platform for the proclamations and a drum house below which had steps up to the platform. The others being Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth, Aberdeen, Selkirk and Elgin, the later two were less ornate. The top of the cross will normally have a unicorn but older crosses have the towns coat of arms as seen on the Selkirk cross with a lion and a shield that would have showm the coat of arms.

Preston Mercat Cross   Selkirk Mercat Cross  Aberlady Mercat Cross  

Gosford House

The most prominent house at Aberlady is Gosford House on the Gosford Estate owned by the (Charteris Family) Earls of Wemyss and March, who resides here on his 5,000 acre estate. The house was design by Robert Adam and was completed in 1800. The House is available for private or corporate functions and weddings. The are many things to see in the grounds of Gosford and the grounds can be access with a permit for the day for £1.00. I found that access is easy from the Bothy across from Craigielaw golf course. (free car park). Francis Charteris of Amisfield 6th Earl of Wemyss designed the landscape of the grounds in 1779 the New House foundation stone was laid in 1791. Stables were built in 1790.  The Old Gosford House was demolished in 1938 and was used as a holiday home of King James V circa 1505.

 Gosford House

Things to see are the Curling House circa 1840 | The Mausoleum T | Ice House | Boat House | Lakes |Stables Garden Cottage | Bothy Cottage

Gosford House Boat House

The boat house is for rowing boats and a great place for swimming. The medallion at the highest point in the centre is of Coade stone and depicts Hygiene goddess of health.

 Gosford House Boat House Entrance Gosford House Boat House

Gosford House Ice House

Gosford House Ice House

Entrance to Gosford Estate | Walled Garden | Bothy and Car Park

Gosford House Estate Entrance from Bothy Gosford House Bothy Car Park Gosford House Wall of Walled Garden

Bothy Cottage  Gosford House Estate

Gosford House Bothy Cottage

Garden Cottage Gosford House Estate

Gosford House Garden Cottage

Lagoon Gosford House Estate

Lagoon Gosford House Estate  Gosford House Lagoon   Gosford House Lagoon house in back

Gosford House Curling House

The Curling House was made from limestone circa 1840 and used by the Aberlady Curling Club.

Gosford House Curling House

 Earl of Wemyss Mausoleum 

The Mausoleum was built by Francis (Wemyss) Charteris (1723-1808), self proclaimed 7th, Earl of Wemyss, circa 1805, who died at Gosford on 24 August 1808 (85) and was “buried there in a mausoleum erected by himself” on the gate posts are crouching slaves with flaying knives. Built in the form of a replica of the Great Pyramid with one entrance. He is the only Weymss occupant to date.

Earl of Wemyss Mausoleum  

Activities range from:The Gosford Games is an interactive Highland Games event including demonstrations and participation with guests divided into teams vying to become Highland Games champions – Events range from throwing the Caber, Throwing the Wheat-sheaf, Highland Dancing to the Tug of War.   Also available Clay Pigeon shooting, Archery, Cricket skills and drills plus mini matches, Whisky tasting, Falconry, displays and handling, Horse riding for beginners to advanced and Guided nature walks. Aberlady has high quality restaurants and accommodation.

Link to All About Edinburgh

East Lothian Map