Athelstaneford East Lothian Scotland
Athelstaneford Birthplace of the Scottish Flag
Athelstaneford is a small hamlet in East Lothian, with a church and a few houses and a big history. Known as Athelstoneford as on Adair’s map 1650 -1722.
The Scottish flag (Saltire) a white cross on a blue background is thought to be the oldest national flag in Europe and the Commonwealth. It was during a battle in 834 AD, King Angus believes that when seeing a cloud formation of a white saltire in the sky (which was the diagonal cross that St Andrew had been crucified on) was a sign from the saints, he proclaimed if the saints help them defeat the enemy he would make St Andrew patron saint of Scotland. On victory, he made the Saltire the flag of Scotland in addition to St Andrew becoming the patron Saint of Scotland.
Scottish Flag Heritage Centre
The doocot, in the Athelstaneford Church grounds houses a visitor centre, visitors can see a short audio-visual dramatisation of the Battle in 834 AD prior to when the St Andrew’s Cross first appeared in the sky. The Doocot was original built 1583 by George Hepburn. A landowner of the area. Doocots were near to large house or Castles and are seen all over Scotland as they were means of getting fresh meat to the table only taking the young pigeons as they are the most tender.
Athelstaneford Parish Church
Athelstaneford Parish Church was built Circa 1780, but a church has been on this site since circa 1175. Nigel Tranter author and historian, a true Scotsman and nationalist. He was married in Athelstaneford Church in 2008. There is an Nigel Tranter Exhibition in the church. Educated at George Heriot’s School Edinburgh, he has had over 125 books published. He died at his home in Gullane East Lothian aged 90.