East Lothian Estate Plans

The Society has received the following enquiry from Mr John Moore, who is researching estate plans. If any members can help, please contact Mr Moore directly at: j.n.moore@me.com

“I am a researcher into the history of Scottish cartography and surveying and am presently engaged on a major project to record as many of the specifically estate plans of the country as possible. This has been triggered by the difficulties I have found in trying to locate the originals of so many of those recorded in either the National Library or the National Records of Scotland.

At the moment, I am working through those plans relating to East Lothian which were prepared prior to the advent of the Ordnance Survey. These are being organised by parish and then by date. As you will know, the more detailed mapping of the county (i.e. the 25-inch survey) by the OS did not appear until 1892 and, as a result, estate mapping by private surveyors carried on for longer in the county and my closing date is a little hazier for East Lothian.

Having worked through the plans recorded in the catalogues of both the NLS and NRS, I am now beginning to work in greater detail in the recording of the individual plans. However, I am well aware that there may be several plans not recorded in these two catalogues and I am writing to you to ask if any of your members would know of additions which would improve the completeness of this research. If you require any further information, I would be very happy to correspond with you on this.

In 1984, I had the good fortune to have an article published in your Transactions listing the early printed maps of East Lothian up to 1848 but, since then, I have had a growing conviction that the real interest is in the estate plan archive. I hope that this project may be of interest to some of your members and I would welcome any comments or suggestions from your Society.”