Category Archives: Lectures

Our winter programme comprises lectures and talks, which are summarised here.

East Lothian Place Names

Members of the East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalists Society gathered at the Maitlandfield House Hotel on 8th February for another in their series of Winter lectures.
Honorary President, Stephen Bunyan, welcomed Liz Curtis of Dunbar who is a member of the Scottish Place Names Society. She gave a fascinating talk on the history behind some of the place names of East Lothian. These have been a subject of interest to historians for centuries with myths muddying the facts. For example, it was long suggested that Humbie got its name from the humming of the many bees to be found there! In reality, many of the names can be traced back to the languages of the many peoples who settled in the area from the earliest times – Brythonic, Old English, Norse, Scots, Baronial French. Strangely, although in East Lothian for some time with a fort at Inveresk, the Romans brought no Latin links.

Many names stem from the words for landscape features or land use in the different languages. Many relate to different types of farm e.g. those with ton, hame or by in them. Dunbar comes from the Anglo Saxon – Dyun Baer – Fort on the Point. A Saxon fort was found when the Leisure Pool was being built. Other names come from religious links e.g. Nungate in Haddington.

After a time for questions, including the correct way to pronounce Gullane, Mr Bunyan gave a vote of thanks. He noted that the day was also the 650th Anniversary of the granting of a Charter to Dunbar by King David the Second.
The next Winter Lecture will be a talk on the History of St Martin’s Kirk at the Maitlandfield House Hotel – 2pm on 14th March.

Liz Curtis – “East Lothian’s place-names: A journey through time.” Saturday 8th Feb 2020

Please note the change of date to: Saturday 8th Feb 2020

Liz will present an illustrated talk outlining how East Lothian’s place-names have developed over the last 2,000 years. Successive waves of settlers, including Britons, Anglians, _ ” Scandinavians and Gaelic-speaking Scots, have all contributed 71 to the rich mix of place-names we know today. In turn, the place-names give us an insight into their societies.

Visitors welcome. Voluntary donation £2 gratefully received

For further information contact eastlothianantiquarians@gmail.com

East Lothian Antiquarian & Field Naturalist Society Winter Talks 2019 — 2020
All talks are held at the Maitlandfield Hotel, Haddington, at 2.30pm

 

Stephanie Leith – “St Martin’s Church, Haddington” – Saturday 14th March 2020

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF DATE TO THE 14TH MARCH 2020

This well-preserved ruin is a rare survival of a 12th century church in Scotland. Belonging to the Cistercian nunnery of St Mary’s, St Martin’s was used by both the nuns and the people of Haddington, and can give us an insight into how the nunnery interacted with and influenced the town.

A recent geophysical survey of the church and its surroundings has revealed both its early history, and reuse and remodelling of the graveyard in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Visitors welcome. Voluntary donation £2 gratefully received

For further information contact eastlothianantiquarians@gmail.com

East Lothian Antiquarian & Field Naturalist Society Winter Talks 2019 — 2020
All talks are held at the Maitlandfield Hotel, Haddington, at 2.30pm

Photo © Lisa Jarvis (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Alister Hadden “A little bit of Wallyford History” – Saturday 23rd November

Saturday 23rd November Alister Hadden “A little bit of Wallyford History”

Alister will give an illustrated talk on Wallyford’s history, industrial heritage in coal mining and brick manufacture. He is from Wallyford and present Chairman of Wallyford Community Council, and has been involved in having a mining memorial installed within Wallyford, along with mining coal hutches on either side of the mining stone with all the 38 miners names lost in Wallyford Collieries from 1857 to 1929.

Visitors welcome. Voluntary donation £2 gratefully received

For further information contact eastlothianantiquarians@gmail.com

East Lothian Antiquarian & Field Naturalist Society Winter Talks 2019 — 2020
All talks are held at the Maitlandfield Hotel, Haddington, at 2.30pm

Photo © Richard Webb (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The copyright on this image is owned by Peter Gordon and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license

Measuring the Past, Modelling the Future – John McCreadie – Saturday 12th October

The talk will describe how we create high resolution 3d digital models using laser scanning combined with drone and terrestrial photography. We work in the heritage sector creating “digital twins” of real world buildings, structures, objects and landforms to help with their conservation and management.

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ELAFNS Annual Dinner – with David Campbell 12th April 2019

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.

AGM & Lecture by Architect Tom Donaldson, Chalmers Memorial Church Sat 18th May

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 church followed 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

From the old to the new, the story of Tyninghame Village – 9th March 2019

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.

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Hidden Histories of Keith Marischal

The Hidden Histories of Keith Marischal

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.

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Nan Shepherd – a naturalist’s odyssey to a Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note

 It’s a grand thing to get leave to live”

by

Erlend Clouston:

writer and journalist, knew Nan Shepherd for 35 years
and now acts as Nan’s literary executor.

on Saturday 10th November 2018 at 2.30pm followed by tea
at the Maintlandfield Hotel, Haddington

Erlend Clouston will relate how and why Nan Shepherd’s photo appears on the new Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note.

Nan Shepherd was born in 1893 and died in 1981. She spent almost all of her life in north east Scotland, close to Aberdeen. This allowed her extraordinary explorations of the natural heritage of the Cairngorms.

He will concentrate on Shepherd’s book “The Living Mountain” which has been acclaimed as one of the classic novels about the Scottish landscape. Whilst this book explores Shepherd’s love of the Cairngorm mountains her insights are applicable to any natural landscape, not least those of East Lothian.

Non members welcome, however a £2 contribution towards costs appreciated