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Cockenzie & Port Seton
East Lothian

Cockenzie & Port Seton

East Lothian

Cockenzie East Lothian has a long history with the burgh status created in 1591 by James VI of Scotland. There is a harbour and large mansion house that have been part of Cockenzie East Lothian for over 300 years. Cockenzie East Lothian is a small town on the east coast of Scotland just outside of Musselburgh close to the site of the historic Battle of Prestonpans where the Jacobite army led by Bonnie Prince Charlie defeated the English army led by Sir John Cope.

Cockenzie and Port Seton have merged into one town.

The memorial garden and war memorial are at the centre of the village of Cockenzie and down the coast is Port Seton Harbour, Seton Castle and Collegiate Church .

Cockenzie Power Station 

The Power Station at Cockenzie East Lothian, opened in 1967 and used over 500.000 tons of coal which was crushed by the grinding ring and steel balls to generate electricity to power all the houses in Edinburgh for over 10 years.

Cockenzie Power Station  Cockenzie East Lothian
Coal Balls Cockenzie Power Station East Lothian

Cockenzie Power Station Mural

Cockenzie East Lothian

The Mural of the Power Station is one of the prestoungrange murals which can be seen in and around Prestonpans 

Cockenzie Power Station Mural East Lothi

Cockenzie Harbour

Cockenzie East Lothian

The Cockenzie Harbour built circa 1630 by the Seton family to transport salt and coal to all parts of Europe. A further harbour at Port Seton was built around the same time and later rebuilt by the Stevenson brothers

(father and uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson) in 1835 for the Cadell (Caddell) family who acquired the area in 1774. 

Cockenzie Harbour Cockenzie East Lothian
Port Seton Harbour East Lothian

Cockenzie Waggonway 

Waggonway Museum

Cockenzie East Lothian

The Waggonway was probably the first rail line in Scotland, with carriages pulled along wooden tracks by horses from the coal pits in Tranent to the salt pans and Cockenzie Harbour. Where the salt and Coal were loaded onto ships to be transported to Europe.  Cockenzie Waggonway was built by the York Buildings Company in 1722. 

The line was upgraded to iron rails in 1815 and connected to the new main rail line which went from Edinburgh to North Berwick in 1846.  There is still traces of the waggonway which can be walked.

For more of the history of the Waggonway visit the Waggonway Museum in Cockenzie.  

Waggonway Museum. Cockenzie East Lothian
Waggonway Plaque. Cockenzie East Lothian
Waggonway 1722 Tranent Cockenzie.

Cockenzie House 

Cockenzie East Lothian

Cockenzie House was originally built for David Seton by Robert Seton, 8th Lord Seton and 1st Earl of Winton, circa 1600, as an estate-residence from which to oversee the affairs of the harbour and of the local Seton estate. It then passed to the family Caddell (Cadell) of Cockenzie. 

The Cadell family were land owners of Cockenzie for over 200 years purchasing the land in 1779. The original lands of Cockenzie being owned by George Seton, 5th Earl of Winton who had the lands taken from him by the crown as he had been a supporter of the Jacobite army and the old pretender ( James Francis Edward Stuart).

Cockenzie House Cockenzie East Lothian

Cockenzie House Gardens

Salt Pan, Shell Grotto and Statue

The lands were then purchased by the York Buildings Company in 1719. The York buildings company interests were in the production and distribution of coal and salt and became the largest company in Scotland. Cockenzie House has many interesting objects in the gardens of which one is a Salt Pan which is how salt was originally made from the sea.

Cockenzie House Shell Grotto East Lothian
Salt Pan Cockenzie House East Lothian
Cockenzie House Statue Cockenzie East Lothian

Cockenzie Port Seton in Bloom

This is one of the areas the local people maintain around Cockenzie and Port Seton. Volunteers have regenerated disused and derelict areas into beautiful flower beds and shrub areas with centre piece as below. The group started in 1998 Creating, the Millenium Garden, the Memorial Garden and the Secret Garden at Cockenzie House.

Cockenzie Gardens in Bloom (2).jpg
Cockenzie Gardens in Bloom.

John Muir Way

East Lothian

The John Muir Way coastal route passes through many small villages and towns of East Lothian. This section of the John Muir Way is great for walking and cycling, Prestonpans, Cockenzie, Port Seton, Longniddry and Aberlady. Coast of East Lothian

Cockenzie Shore John Muir Way East Lothian
Cockenzie Shore John Muir Way East Lothian

Port Seton Harbour

(The Seton Family Port)

Port Seton East Lothian

The harbour port of Seton was built in 1635 and closed circa 1810. The estate was neglected for over 100 years from 1715 till 1789.  The new estate owner the Earl of Wemyss contracted  David and Thomas Stevenson to design and build the new harbour. The harbour was complete in 1880 and is still in use. The original harbour was used to ship coal and other goods all over Europe. The Stevenson brother s were famous engineers from Edinburgh part of the Stevenson family who built lighthouses around Britain and Thomas’s son was Robert Louis Stevenson (writer).

Port Seton Harbour East Lothian

Seton Collegiate Church

Port Seton East Lothian

Seton Collegiate Church Port Seton is the best example of a medieval collegiate churches in Scotland. Seton Collegiate Church built circa 1240. Dedicated to St Mary & Holy Cross and was consecrated by the Bishop of St Andrews in 1242. Lady St Clair on the death of her husband had chapel built to hold a private alter and the tomb of her husband Sir John Seton. George Seton, 1st Lord Seton, in 1470 started to the process of changing the church to serve as a Collegiate Church which was completed in 1492. The 2nd Lord Seton became the first Seton to be buried in the new choir in 1508. The Church has been damaged on several occasion circa 1540, 1650, and 1688 then finally in 1715 when the Lothian Militia defaced the interior, demolished tombs, the entrance, and original nave.

Seton Collegiate Church Port Seton East
Seton Collegiate Church East Lothian Scotland
Seton Collegiate Church Bell Port Seton
Seton Collegiate Church Isle Port Seton
Statue Seton Collegiate Church Port Seto

Seton Castle | Palace

Port Seton East Lothian

Port Seton home to the Seton family, owners of Seton Palace for circa 500 years. (Circa 1120 – 1715) The house was damaged and burned out during the 1715 Jacobite Rising for the next 75 years it was left as a ruin and finally demolished by the owner Mr McKenzie after he purchased the lands in 1789 he demolished the remains of Seton Palace in 1790. In 1798 the lands were purchased by the Earl of Wemyss who built a Castle on the previous site of Seton Palace. Mary McMillan purchased the Castle which had fallen into a poor state in 2002. After renovation finally sold to a private owner Stephen Leach in 2007. The previous Seton Palace was a favourite of both Kings and Queens. With guest James IV visited in 1498, as well as Mary Queen of Scots in 1567 James V and his wife Mary of Guise, James VI in 1603 Charles I 1633 and Charles II in 1649.

Seton Castle. Port Seton East Lothian
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