| The Statistical Account of the parish supposes it to have
been originally a grange, or habitation of the monks of Newbattle.
But we would as soon trust tradition in this case as supposition.
We rather like the idea of its being the ruin of an old fortalice,
whose laird's name, if not M'Leod, must have been lost in
the distant ages.
The village and farm of Dolphinstone are on Prestongrange
estate, and the tenant-farmer is Mr James Shields, one of
the most enlightened and industrious agriculturists in East
If you wish to see a cheerless-looking lot of houses go to
Preston Links, a small village along the sea-coast, near the
eastern extremity of the parish; and if you wish to feel a
cold piercing wind, if wind is blowing at all, you will be
sure to find it at Preston Links. This is where the football
people play the rushing game, and this also is where
the golf folks swing their weighty clubs; but it cannot be
the effect of either of these happy pastimes that keeps the
cold winds here; it must be natural to the locality. What
tends to give a cheerless look, however, to the dwelling-houses,
is the fact of the house-doors, instead of facing the main
highway, being turned seaward, and this also must be set down
as being natural to the locality.
The land and the minerals here, for the most part, belong
to Schaw's trust. The lands, except those directly on the
sea-coast, are of a fine loamy substance, and used mostly
for market gardening purposes.
Previous to the middle of last century (about 1830) a coal
pit was opened here by Mr Grieve, and worked successfully
for a considerable number of years. The trade was entirely
by cart sale, until a successor at his own expense ran a pier
out into the sea, when small ships and steamboats were largely
supplied. A deal of clay was also taken out of this pit for
the fire-clay works at Bankpark. The colliery was discontinued
towards the close of 1884, and the pier ultimately went to
Other two pits were opened up previous to the middle of the
century on the same estate. These were on the field adjoining
the " Thorn Tree " westward, and a beautiful seam
of coal, but thin, and very fine clay along with it, were
turned out of these pits for a time. It was said " they
did not pay the working." But if the coal and the clay
did not pay the working of them on Schaw's estate in those
days, they will soon be thoroughly tested again by new lessees.—(Set
It is understood that the Forth Coal Company has secured a
lease of the minerals, not only on Schaw's estate, but also
from the government, of the minerals under the Forth, and
boring and sinking operations are already in progress all
over the lands.
Mr Greenfield, of Preston Links, uses the lands in the neighbourhood
largely for market gardening purposes. Mr Scrymgeour, Tranent,
has been for some time the proprietor of these lands.
RIVAL RAILWAY SCHEMES.
The Forth Coal Company, it is understood, are the in-augurators
of a scheme to form a harbour at Preston Links, so great in
extent, indeed, that it will rival the famous docks at Methil.
Other colliery companies joined in, and a mineral line of
railway is already marked off, extending from Preston Links
by way of Preston, Wallyford, Smeaton Junction, New-tongrange,
on to Stobhill all the way.
THE NORTH BRITISH RAILWAY COMPANY
are following with a rival scheme. They propose to extend
Cockenzie harbour adjoining Preston Links, run a line of railway
from it, keeping always to the north of the other line, skirting
Sibbald's House, Woodbine Cottage, Prestongrange, and Drummore,
then catching on to the Musselburgh branch line of railway.
This is understood to be for both goods and passenger traffic.
If either of these railway schemes be carried out, a great
commercial future may lie before Prestonpans and vicinity.