CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Events, rides etc.

Tour of East Lothian chimney farms

(148 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by Cyclingmollie
  • Latest reply from Cyclingmollie

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  1. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    On Sunday I set out to visit all the farms I could find which retain their steam engine shed chimney stacks. There are some photos on Flickr.

    Most of the chimneys which survive from the high farming period of the mid to late nineteenth century are on farms in the Traprain area. But there are three in a group at Samuelston, not far from Pencaitland. The first sits behind a steading conversion on the Pencatland Haddington road. The second, down the hill in Samuelston Mid Mains is some way from the main road and hard to see.

    Chimney three, just round the corner, is in a busy working farm beside an old dutch barn. In 1845 East Lothian had eighty steam engine powered mills on farms. They were used for threshing which is now done by combine harvesters.

    There's a bit of a gap after that but around Traprain chimneys become fairly common. Number four at Standing Stone Farm sits in a small cobbled courtyard by the road. It's an idyllic spot, overlooked by Traprain Law to the north-west.

    Chimney five at Luggate is less fortunate. It stands forlornly amid demolition rubble and ongoing redevelopment. It looks better from further east where the steading work is hidden but number six makes up for it. At Sunnyside Farm the chimney is an integral part of a very imposing steading which is windowless at ground level but has nine stone built dormers. Most 19th century farms were built from plans printed in journals or pattern books which is why they all tend to look the same. At Sunnyside an architect was probably employed to create something a bit more imposing.

    From the sublime to the ridiculous for number seven. Traprain Farm's modern steading has engulfed the old steam engine shed leaving the top of the chimney sticking out of a new grain storage barn.

    I could see number eight off to the south from miles away but reaching it required a cut through to the Stenton Gifford road. Overfield Farm is bit sad looking at the moment. Only the old chimney and a few bare walls remain as it is also being re-developed. The chimney is not seen at its best from the road, sitting as it does behind a blue portaloo but at least it has been preserved.

    I returned via Inveresk where the ninth and last chimney of the trip sits in Pinkiehill Farm. The steading there is on the "at risk" register but it's in a better state than several neglected steadings. I know there must be other chimneys to be found, at Markle Mains, Congleton or Eaglescairnie perhaps.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    But we need to know who made the bricks...

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    I'll leave that to kaputnik. If I look all I'll find is Niddrie bricks.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. kaputnik
    Moderator

    A man's gotta have a hobby (beyond cycling)!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. Claggy Cog
    Member

    Interesting subject matter. I have cycled past some of these and never paid them any attention. I am amazed at the number of derelict farm buildings there are though, and had noticed Luggate farm in particular, as well as Peaston/Humbie farms too.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    Liz, yes West Peaston seems to have been left to fall down. It's picturesque but sad. It could be like Samuelston if the cottages were restored and the steading fixed up. Have you noticed the statue and the stone cross?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

    I see some more photos have been added

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/44681630@N02/sets/72157626533680392

    Posted 7 years ago #
  8. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    Thanks chdot. Among other things the gallery reveals:

    • Where the bricks came from (some of them anyway)
    • The name of one of the steam engine suppliers (and where to see one of their engines in Edinburgh)
    • The maximum number in use
    • What people thought of them
    • How many are left
    • . . . and which one is the best (imo)

    Posted 7 years ago #
  9. amir
    Member

    Perhaps we could have a social tour?

    Posted 7 years ago #
  10. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    You can count me in on that amir.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    Forgot to add: All neatly plotted on Google too -

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=203491333417063310237.0004aabac5b6c7978aca7&msa=0&ll=55.777345,-2.69989&spn=0.760002,2.113495

    (Hope they are in OSM as well...)

    Posted 7 years ago #
  12. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Chimney Tour of East Lothian and the Borders sounds most excellent!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  13. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    Those are the ones outside East Lothian. For East Lothian ones the Flickr gallery has a map. I will add them to an Open Source map if you can recommend how best to do that.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  14. chdot
    Admin

    Just go to http://www.openstreetmap.org and register an account - free.

    Zoom into the location (OSM now has Bing aerial photo for helping identification).

    Some farms/buildings will already have been added but probably not chimneys and engine houses.

    Mobile OSM editing apps are also available.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  15. amir
    Member

    "Chimney Tour of East Lothian and the Borders sounds most excellent! "

    Well we need a date, weather, participants, bikes, a route and, most importantly, a cafe.

    I note that the nearest is just short of Haddington so the route will need to be >30miles. I suggest that we don't aim to visit all.

    There are plenty of cafes {Gifford, Haddington, Dunbar, East Linton, Aberlady, Tyninghame, NB, Gullane, even Prestonpans ;) }

    Posted 7 years ago #
  16. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    How about Pencaitland, Samuelston, Morham, Papple, Stenton, East Linton, Athelstaneford, Fenton Barns (cafe), Aberlady, Musselburgh. That would take in about fifteen.

    Or Pencaitland, Samuelston, Morham, Papple, Stenton, Spott, the Brunt, Innerwick and back the same way (or train home from Dunbar). That would give about ten.

    Or just up to Gifford (cafe) and then a meander around Morham and the old Whittingehame Estate back roads.

    And we need to talk about cameras as I am a terrible photographer.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  17. amir
    Member

    "And we need to talk about cameras as I am a terrible photographer. "

    So am I

    Posted 7 years ago #
  18. kaputnik
    Moderator

    I'll bring my wee waterproof pocket camera. Can't claim to be a great photographer either...

    AS for the route, it's such a nice part of the world to cycle in, I'm quite happy to do whatever the chimney guide thinks best!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  19. amir
    Member

    "chimney guide"

    That's a great title for Tom. Better than chimney sweep at least.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  20. chdot
    Admin

    "I am a terrible photographer"

    Doesn't show.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  21. DaveC
    Member

    That route is similar to the Tour of East Lothian, without Red Stane Rig hill to get over.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  22. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    Chimney Guide, I like that. The ride could be called the Chimney Sweep. I'll put a route suggestion up on Runkeeper.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  23. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Chimney sweep or "up the lum" :)

    Posted 7 years ago #
  24. amir
    Member

    Sundays best? I am away the weekend of 22/23 Oct otherwise around in the next few weeks.

    So far we have
    Tom aka Chimney Guide
    kaputnik the photographer
    amir the drafter?

    anyone else?

    Posted 7 years ago #
  25. Darkerside
    Member

    If it ends up as weekend of 29th/30th I'd be interested

    Tom aka Chimney Guide
    kaputnik the photographer
    amir the drafter
    Darkerside the intrigued

    Posted 7 years ago #
  26. kaputnik
    Moderator

    This weekend I can't do. Following weekends should all be fine. I have less commitments aka children than most, so happy to work around what suits others!

    Posted 7 years ago #
  27. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    Here's a possible route. This would take in Samuelston, the Whittingehame area, Spott Brae (steep), the Brunt, Innerwick, Sunnyside, East Linton, Athelstaneford and Longniddry. About 62 miles. Missing out the extension to Innerwick would reduce the distance to about 44 miles.


    Chimney Sweep by Cycling Mollie, on Flickr

    Posted 7 years ago #
  28. amir
    Member

    There is a tea shop at the East Linton garden centre

    Posted 7 years ago #
  29. Jackson Priest
    Member

    oooh, can i come? can't do next weekend (22/23), but free any other.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  30. Cyclingmollie
    Member

    Looks like the weekend of 29th/30th is best for me too. Shall we say the 30th with the 29th as a reserve if there's a strong weather related reason to switch?

    Amir: I've not been to the East Linton garden centre tea shop. The other East Linton cafe, the Votidini, was a bit disappointing the last time we were there.

    Posted 7 years ago #

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