East Lothian Antiquarian & Field Naturalist Society Annual Dinner for 2019 will take place at the Maitlandfield House Hotel, Haddington on Friday 12th April 2019 at 7 for 7 30pm.
Late News: Tim Porteous has had to call off due to an urgent family matter. He has however arranged for what will be an excellent substitute in David Campbell. David is an acclaimed writer, broadcaster, poet and storyteller, and will talk on the same subject of “The convergence of East Lothian Folklore and History”.
Joy Dodd can provide booking forms and menu choices.
The AGM will be held at 2.30pm on Saturday 18th May 2019 at Chalmers Memorial, Church 29 Gosford Road, Port Seton EH32 OHG
A talk about the church will be given by Tom Donaldson,retired architect and elder of the churchfollowed by a tour.
Come and learn more about this excellent example of Arts & Crafts Church. Designed by Sydney Mitchell for the United Free Church, the foundation stone was laid in 1904. It has a very elegant spire and bell-tower and unique stencilled interior. Stained glass windows by Margaret Chilton and Marjorie Kemp 1924-50.
This is an open lecture and will be followed by tea. Visitors welcome
Saturday 13th July at 2.30 PM – Marchmont House, near Greenlaw, Berwickshire with Ian Hardie
By invitation of the proprietors. Marchmont House is arguably one of Scotland’s finest mansions. It is an imposing Grade A listed Palladian masterpiece built in 1750 by Hume-Campbell, 3rd Earl of Marchmont.
The current proprietors purchased the House and estate in 2005 and have undertaken a most ambitious restoration – such that last year they won the 2018 Historic Houses / Sotheby’s Restoration Award. The House is full of paintings, sculptures and period furnishings. Members will be taken on a private tour of the House led by the House Curator Frances Raemaekers and will include artwork ranging from the 16th to 21st centuries. The tour, lasting between 2 and 2.5 hours, will end with tea / coffee and biscuits.
Saturday 22nd June at 2.30 PM – Portmore Gardens, near Eddleston, Scottish Borders with Ian Hardie
By invitation of the proprietor Mrs. C Reid, Portmore Gardens are located 1 mile north od Eddleston on the A703 (heading south on the left, post code EH45 8QU The entrance is identified by a lodge and stone pillars.
The Gardens have been lovingly created by Mr and Mrs Reid over the last 30 years. They surround a David Bryce designed mansion house.
Highlights include a restored 1.5 acre walled garden, large Edwardian glasshouses, and a water garden leading to a woodland walk with views of the Borders landscape.
From the old to the new, the story of Tyninghame Village.
Saturday 9th March 2019, Maitlandfield Hotel, Haddington 2.30pm.
Detailed research into the Kirk Session Minutes of the old parish of Tynninghame, that was joined to that of Whitekirk in 1761; together with documents held in the NRS, and field walking, has helped to discover more about the site of the early village, and when and what led to the establishment of the present village of Tyninghame. The talk will be followed by a visit to the house & church in September.
It is with sorrow that we intimate The Death of Shelagh, the Dowager Countess of Wemyss and March, Vice President Emeritus of East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalists’ Society on Monday 4th Feb 2019. Her funeral will be at Aberlady Parish Church on Feb 27th at 12 noon
Stephen Bunyan President
The history of the estate of Keith Marischal has been a topic of dispute for almost two hundred and seventy years. On the 9th February 2019 there will be a joint presentation on the hidden histories of the property. Keith Marischal was the ancestral seat of the Keith family from at least the twelfth century. By the sixteenth century they were described as the richest earls in Scotland, their power centred on the famous Dunnottar Castle near Aberdeen. Keith Marischal remained symbolically important as their ancestry home and for its useful proximity to Edinburgh. The house and barony were sold due to the financial mismanagement of the seventh Earl Marischal in November 1642.
Dr Miles Kerr-Peterson will explore the history of the building over the centuries as the Keiths’ medieval tower developed into a grand Renaissance Palace before parts were gradually demolished. On one side of a courtyard once stood a great hall “which surpassed anything of the kind” 110 feet in extent and 3 stories in height, almost as long as the Great Hall of Stirling Castle. David Affleck, curator of the current Exhibition on The Last of the Hepburns of Smeaton will reveal the work done in the 19th C. to show that while the Hepburns had acquired the estate from the Keiths, the 17th Century Sir Robert Hepburn of Keith who died in 1683 was not descended from the Hepburn of Smeaton line. This is significant as there are families living in Australia who believe that they had an ancestral link with the Hepburns of Keith and through him, the earlier Smeaton line. In addition, the birth name of Sir Robert’s nephew was Congalton. He had adopted the surname of Hepburn as a requirement of his uncle’s will and became an active Jacobite in 1715. Accounts that the Hope family of Hopetoun had acquired Keith Marischal estate before 1715 can now be disproved.
Taken together, the hidden histories of the property and the ownership can now be revealed and will demonstrate the significance of the estate and its Keith and Hepburn owner in this part of East Lothian’s history.
The presentations are part of the winter lecture programme of the East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalist’s Society and will be held at the Maitlandfield Hotel Haddington on Saturday 9th February at 2.30.
Sir Hew Hamilton-Dalrymple Bt was President Emeritus of the East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalists Society and a former Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian. He died on 26th December 2018, and his funeral is on the 4th of January 2019.
Hew Fleetwood Hamilton-Dalrymple was educated at Ampleforth College and joined the Grenadier Guards in 1944 at the age of 18. His last post was Adjutant of the Grenadier Guards before he retired from the army in 1962, with the rank of major. Subsequently he was Adjutant, later president of the Council, and finally Captain-General of the Royal Company of Archers (the Queen’s ceremonial bodyguard for Scotland) and Gold Stick for Scotland 1996–2004. He was Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian 1987–2001.
Hamilton-Dalrymple was a landowner whose property included the Bass Rock bird sanctuary which has been in his family since 1706. He was vice-chairman of Scottish and Newcastle Breweries 1983–86 and chairman of Scottish American Investment Company 1985–91.
Image courtesy of The Courier
The final meeting of the summer programme was a visit to Gilmerton Walled Garden on Sunday 7th October. Sir David and Lady Kinloch have established a trust called ‘Growing Matters’ to create a centre of gardening therapy to provide a life enhancing environment for those facing challenges to their mental and physical health.
Our group was received by Jerry Simcock who explained the back ground to the trust and outlined what they hoped to achieve. His wife Diana, who was unable to meet us, is now co-ordinating efforts to restore the garden. This will be an immense task.
The trust has developed an excellent plan , but an enormous amount of effort will be required to develop it.
It is good to see an increasing interest in these old gardens and our group had some interesting discussion and wished the endeavour every success. They would welcome volunteers donations of cash and kind. [ twitter@gilmertongarden]
Their promotional card has a quotation from Audrey Hepburn. ’To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow’.