Prestongrange Murals and Heritage Trail

Today I joined the Esk Valley Rotary group on their wee walk around Prestonpans, with a guide (who’s name totally escapes me) who spoke to us about the history of Prestonpans, in particular the battle of Prestonpans, and showed us around some of the arty sites of the town.

Overall, there are 37 sights to see on the trail, but we only had time for a few.

If you’re in the area, it makes quite a nice, interesting walk on a sunny day.

Start and end your trip at The Gothenburg or “The Goth” for a pint of their beer brewed on location in one of the few microbrewries in Scotland.

Annoyingly I forgot to take a picture of the first sight, which was the Prestonpans totem pole, so here is an internet-sourced image:

This totem pole is carved from genuine Canadian redwood and was unveiled in 2006. It commemorates the battle in Prestonpans as well as some of the main features of the town, the teapot signifies the pottery industry and the fishing boats reference the seaside industry within the town.

Just behind the mural here, you can see the totem pole….. as well as some erm…. rather fine Rotarians!

This is the “Morison’s Haven” mural, painted by Kate Hunter; who is a well established theatrical and outdoors based artist from Edinburgh. This mural captures the industrial activity surrounding the harbor, which was established to export coal, pottery, vitriol and salt and to import timber, tobacco, silks, exotic birds and plants. This is the first mural to be painted and was completed in October 2001.

This is the second mural we came to, and it depicts John Muir enjoying a beer on the shoreline outside the Gothenburg. John Muir was born in Dunbar, not far from Prestonpans, and the John Muir coastal walk runs from there to Musselburgh and runs through the high street, passing this mural. I love the little paper boat floating in the water with the plant sprouting out from it, which I think represents the three aspects of what John Muir stood for: discover, explore and conserve (see I did learn something from our senior 3 projects trip at school, where I got my John Muir award!).

“The Salters” mural is again by Kate Hunter and was completed in 2002. This mural depicts the various industries that Prestonpans is well known for, including salt, soap and coal.

“Co-operative Society” mural was painted by Tom Ewing and concentrates on local characters from the towns past and is located on the high-street on the wall of what was the co-ops carpark but is now a Scotmid.

This mural highlights the towns strong connections with the labor party.

I can’t actually remember anything about this as I was more focused on Bailey at this point:

To finish off our walk we stopped back at the Gothenburg for a beer and dinner, and passed by the shoreline and this beautiful sunset:

We also learned all about the Prestonpans Tapestry which depicts the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s famous campaign for Scotland. The tapestry was inspired by the famous Bayeux Tapestry which is approx. 70metres long and the Prestonpans Tapestry is 104 meters long, made up of 103 separated panels created by over 200 stitchers and was then sewn together to create the final artwork. Like the Bayeux Tapestry, it is more of an embroidered cloth rather than a woven tapestry. It was completed on the 26th of July 2010 and was unveiled in the old Cockensie Railway station. It is now on tour and will be in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh from 1st June – 31st August which I will pop along to and let ya’ll know all about it :)

Chloe out.


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