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Ormiston Attractions

East Lothian


The village of Ormiston was founded by John Cockburn in 1735 a main principal in the Agricultural Revolution.


Ormiston Hall 

Ormiston Hall was built for John Cockburn and opened in 1748 and was the main Mansion House of the area.

The hall was in ruins after a fire and very little remains next to where the hall stood is the remains of  St Giles Parish Church built before the reformation circa 1230 close 1690 and the main church was demolished in 1730. 

Ormiston House Kirk Ruins East Lothian
Ruins Ormiston Woods East Lothian
Ormiston Chapel Ruins Old Ormiston

Cockburn Halls


East Lothian

Cockburn Halls are modern multi used shop and office spaces built circa 1930. In the centre at the front door is the Ormiston War Memorial.

John Cockburn

Cockburn Hall Ormiston

East Lothian

John Cockburn was born in 1695 in Ormiston and followed his father into politics and became a supporter of union with England. In 1707 on the Union, John became the MP for Haddingtonshire which he maintained until 1741. In 1714 John inherited his family estate in Ormiston East Lothian. John Cockburn initialised the changing of agriculture in Scotland when he change the old system and built farm steadings on large areas of sectioned land. The new deal gave tenants long lease, which were transferable to three generations so the family would benefited from the work they carried out on the land. Circa 1720 John decided to build a brewery and distillery in Ormiston due to the now large harvests. He then built Ormiston Village (1735) to a new town structure using a feuing of the lands. He also introduced the first bleachfield where cotton and linen would be laid out in fields to be bleached by the sun. East Lothian owes its reputation as the garden of Scotland to John Cockburn his success came at a price he died in debt after selling Ormiston to the Earl of Hopetoun in 1747, 10 years prior to his death. 

Cockburn Hall Ormiston East Lothian.JPG

Mercat Cross


East Lothian

The cross that stands in the centre of Ormiston Main street is the style of a 15th century cross. The cross not original used as a market cross it may have come from the old pre reformation church no documentation can be found on its origins.  

Ormiston Cross Plaque Ormiston East Loth
Ormiston Cross Ormiston East Lothian.JPG

Robert Moffat

Memorial Obelisk


East Lothian

Robert Moffat was born in 1795 in Ormiston, East Lothian. He became a missionary in Africa and In 1823 he settled in is new home Kuruman where he lived for 49 years. He met with Livingstone in 1840 and persuaded him to come to Africa and the rest is history. The Rev. Robert Moffat D.D laid this stone on 9th June 1877 at the Livingstone Medical Missionary in the Cowgate Edinburgh. The memorial obelisk stands at the entrance to Moffat Village in East Lothian to his life as a missionary and the his life's' work 

 "Among missionaries there was none Greater, none holier than he".

Robert Moffat Memorial Obelisk Ormiston
Robert Moffat Obelisk  Ormiston East Lot
Robert Moffat Obelisk Ormiston East Loth
Robert Moffat Obelisk Ormiston East Loth

Charles Maclaren


East Lothian

Charles Maclaren was born on 7 October 1782 in Ormiston East Lothian he was a Scottish journalist and geologist. He co-founded The Scotsman newspaper. In 1822 Maclaren was the first person to successfully identify the correct position of the lost city of Troy.  He died at his home in the Grange Edinburgh, 10 September 1866. 

Charles Maclaren of Ormiston Portrait Ga

Ormiston War Memorial


East Lothian

Ormiston War memorial stands outside the Cockburn Halls. A bronze nude figure of a male standing with arms out wide. The bronze plaques, centre; 1st World War inscription panel reads; In honour and everlasting memory of the men of the parish of Ormiston who gave their lives for god and country in the Great War 1914-1918. The additional two panels one right and the other on the left are to the fallen in World War II 1936-1945.

Ormiston War Memorial Plaque. East Lothi
Ormiston War Memorial.Ormiston East Loth

Great Yew Tree


East Lothian

Ormiston has the said to be oldest layering yew-tree in Britain at over 1000 years old.

Polish War Memorial 
Ormiston Woods

This seems to be a sign to show the Polish army were stationed in Ormiston 

The inscription of a Polish Eagle and Scottish Lion Rampant (The emblem of HQ Polish Forces in Great Britain)

are visible however the weather has worn all other inscriptions away over the years. 

see for more info


Thanks to Roy Baines for the for the information that it was a Polish war memorial.

Ormiston Wood before The Great Yew
Ormiston Woods Plaque
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