Ancestry UK

East Lothian (Haddingtonshire)

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The East Lothian Combination comprised the 15 parishes of Aberlady, Bolton, Cockburnspath, Dirleton, Dunbar, Garvald, Innerwick, North Berwick, Oldhamstocks, Prestonkirk, Spott, Stenton, Whitekirk, Whittingham and Yester, later joined by Athelstaneford, Ayton, Coldingham, Eyemouth, Longformacus, and Morham. The total population of the member parishes in 1881 was 19,876.

The East Lothian poorhouse was built in 1864 on a 4.5-acre site at East Linton, Prestonkirk. It was designed by the partnership of John Dick Peddie and Charles George Hood Kinnear. Its location and layout are shown on the 1908 map below.

East Lothian site, 1908

An entrance lodge stood at the north of the site.

East Lothian entrance lodge from the east, 2001.
© Peter Higginbotham.

The main building was a two storey building with a T-shaped layout.

East Lothian from the south, 2001.
© Peter Higginbotham.

East Lothian from the south-west, 2001.
© Peter Higginbotham.

A separate single-storey block to the rear probably contained utility rooms and workshops.

East Lothian from the north-west, 2001.
© Peter Higginbotham.

After 1930, the poorhouse became the Prestonkirk Home Poor Law Institution serving East Lothian, but with an arrangement to also take cases from the county of Berwick. In 1946 it had 72 beds in 3 female and 4 male dormitories.

In 2001, the building was unoccupied.




Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.


  • The Poorhouse and Poor Relief in East Lothian by David Moody (1983, Haddington)


  • None.

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