Antiqua Print Gallery Prestonpans
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Prestonpans

Prestonpans is a small town to the east of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the unitary council area of East Lothian. It has a population of 7,153 (East Lothian Council Census, 2001). It is the site of the 1745 Battle of Prestonpans, and has a history dating back to the 11th century. The town boasts some impressive examples of historical architecture, such as the Preston Tower and the doocot and the local Mercat Cross, which is the only one of its kind in Scotland which remains in its original form and location

History

According to local legend, Prestonpans was originally founded in the 11th century by a pirate named Althamer, who became shipwrecked on the coast. Finding it impossible to get home, the survivors of the wreck decided to remain where they were and founded a settlement named Althamer in honour of their leader. Whether this story is true or not is a matter of opinion, however when the monks of Newbattle and Holyrood arrived in the district in 1184 there was already a settlement named Aldhammer on the site of what is now Prestonpans. The monks gave the settlement their own name, Prieststown or Prieston. Because of the salt manufacturing carried out by the monks using pans on the sea shore, the town's name would later develop into Salt Prieststown and Salt Preston, and finally Prestonpans.
One of the first post-Reformation churches was built in Prestonpans, in 1596. Ten years after the building of the new church, Prestonpans became a Parish in its own right, having previously formed part of the Parish of Tranent.

Battle of Prestonpans

The Battle of Prestonpans (also known as the Battle of Gladsmuir) was the first significant conflict in the second Jacobite Rising. The battle took place on 21 September 1745. The Jacobite army loyal to James Francis Edward Stuart and led by his son Charles Edward Stuart defeated the army loyal to the Hanoverian George II led by Sir John Cope. The victory was a huge morale boost for the Jacobites, and a heavily mythologized version of the story entered art and legend. A memorial to the Battle of Prestonpans is in the form of a modest stonemason mason-built cairn, and sits close to the battle site. An earlier monument to Colonel Gardiner, a Hanoverian who was mortally wounded on the field of battle, was also erected in the 19th century near Bankton House where the Colonel lived. Each year on the anniversary of the battle, a Battlefield Walk is organised by local historians, and in September 2008 the Battle of Prestonpans 1745 Trust is organising a symposium on local battlefields.

(Source Wikipedia)