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Pencaitland Attractions

East Lothian


East Lothian

Pencaitland became a burgh of barony in 1695. There are two parts to Pencaitland Western and Eastern Pencaitland separated by the River Tyne. The Western side has the older houses and the main part of the old village where the eastern side has predominantly newer housing The old school house built i 1820. There are wood walks and many things to see in Pencaitland with its local hostelry three nearby Castles and Glenkinchie Distillery you can spend a great day out here.

Pencaitland Standing Stone


Mercat Cross

East Lothian

Pencaitland Mercat Cross was erected circa 1695 when by act of parliament the burgh can have a cross and a marketplace. Pencaitland has been said to be where body snatchers (resurrectionists) were caught and put in jougs (manacles) before receiving punishment from the crowd of villagers. 

pencaitland mercat cross East Lothian
pencaitland cross history East Lothian


Belfry Cottage and Old Schoolhouse

East Lothian

The first school and schoolhouse circa 1820, Pencaitland stands on the corner across from the Pencaitland mercat cross. On the Stone above the front porch a boy sites reading a book on the stone an inscription reads: “Given by John McEwan | To Robert Focco teacher | Wm’s Son Gave It to Mrs Trevelyan”.

Belfry Cottage and School House Pencaitland East Lothian
Old School House Pencaitland East Lothia

Pencaitland Bridges

East Lothian

The River Tyne flows under two bridges the old bridge between western and eastern Pencaitland was built circa 1500 to connect the two parts of the village seen below left. The other bridge is to the east on the way out of Pencaitland. On the south side are the arms of the Sinclair family and the date 1510

pencaitland Bridge Pencaitland East Loth
Old Pencaitland Bridge Pencaitland East


Temperance Hall

East Lothian

The Trevelyan Hall (Temperance Hall) in Wester Pencaitland was erected in 1883 by Mrs. Trevelyan in memory of her husband, Arthur Trevelyan, a well-known benefactor of Pencaitland who died in 1880. Arthur Trevelyan also had the Tyneholm Cottages and Trevelyan Cottage and Post Office built 1881.

Pencaitland Arthur Trevelyan Temperance


War Memorial

East Lothian

Pencaitland War Memorial was erected after the First World War in memorial to the fallen from the village. There is a plaque at the base of the monument to the memory of those who fell in the Second World War.  

Pencaitland War Memorial East Lothian


Parish Church

East Lothian

Pencaitland Parish Church was consecrated in 1242 and was built prior to that but when is uncertain. There is a date on the lintel of the west door 1631 which is when the present church was erected. It is possible the church as most were extended and renovated at different periods but for certain a church stood here prior to 1242. In 1127 the Bishop of St. Andrews claimed jurisdiction over all the churches in the Lothians and prior to 1018 East Lothian was part of Northumbria

Pencaitland Parish Church Pencaitland Ea

Penkaet Castle


East Lothian

The Baronial home of Woodhead (or in old Celtic Penkaet) now known as Penkaet Castle built circa 1485.

Sold to Adam de Crichton in 1506. The next owner was Alexander Cockburn who lived here till his death in 1579. 

Sir George Cockburn of Ormiston then purchased the barony before selling it to the Pringle family in 1636. 

The Castle was passed on in 1681 to John Lauder of Newington, Edinburgh.

The Castle was empty for many years and became uninhabitable until in 1922 with a new owner an author and traveller, Professor John Bernard Holbourn renovated the property bringing it back to its former glory. 

Penkaet Castle 

Ghosts that Haunt the Castle

With old Castles come the ghosts and murders and Penkaet is no different and boasts of three ghosts.

Alexander Hamilton 

He was burned at the stake on Castlehill, Edinburgh for witchcraft, after putting a spell on Penkaet Castle, the Lady of the Castle and her daughter were found dead days later. It was later found that he had murdered them.

It is said he roams the grounds at the gate where he put the spell on the Castle. 

John Cockburn

He is said to have murdered his cousin and and due to his guilt has haunted the Castle he once owned.

King Charles II

After Charles II hd spent many different occasions at the castle in the same room it was known as King Charles bedchamber. Many people who have stayed at the castle have reported strange noises footsteps and moving furniture and no-one to be present. There has been many strange things happen and when in 1964 a  paranormal research group visited the castle a glass dome disintegrated with no reason or anyone present.

Professor Holbourn was gifted the bed and Death mask of Charles II and is said that the King on occasion rests in the bed.

Penkaet Castle is strictly private and is only accessible by appointment.

I thank the present owner for allowing me to take these photographs.  

Penkaet Castle East Lothian

Penkaet Castle


East Lothian

The Plaques on the entrance posts to Penkaet Castle were sculpted by Maria Anna Angelika Kauffmann RA (30 October 1741 – 5 November 1807).

Pencaet Castle Gate Post East Lothian
Lady and Anchor Gate Post Penkaet Castle
Gate post Lady with Elephant Pencaet Cas
Gate Post Medallion Penkaet Castle East

Winton Castle

East Lothian

Winton Castle (Winton Tower House). In 1619 when the 3rd Earl of Winton built the stately home of Winton near Pencaitland. Where a Tower house (Castle) had previously stood before being burnt by English invasion. The House was purchased by Mrs Hamilton Nisbet’s of Pencaitland in 1779. It then became the property of Lady Ruthven in 1846. Constance Nisbet Hamilton became the owner in 1885 and married Henry Ogilvy of Inverquharity, Angus, in 1888. When Constance Nisbet Hamilton died in 1920 and then passed to Gilbert Ogilvy, then the property passed to Sir David Ogilvy 13th Bt. and on his death in 1992, Sir Francis Gilbert Arthur Ogilvy of Inverquharity, 14th Bt. is now owner.

Winton Castle Pencaitland  East Lothian

Earls of Winton 

East Lothian

Robert Seton’s father died in 1585 and Robert succeeded as 6th Lord Seton. Robert Seton the 6th Lord Seton also became 1st Earl of Winton at Holyrood House, on 16 November 1600. The second Earl (1603) forfeited the Earldom after a short time due to a mental illness and his title passed to his brother George in 1607. In 1619 he built a stately home of Winton near Pencaitland. Where a Tower house had previously stood before being burnt by English invasion. George Seton 4th Earl of Winton became head of the family estates in 1650 from a young age. He was a military man and fought in many battles and commanded many troops till his death 1704. The 5th Earl was educated in Europe and did not return until circa 1710.  George Seton, 5th Earl of Winton was convicted of high treason in 1716 after taking part in the Jacobite rising of 1715 supporting James Stuart.  His titles were forfeit and he was condemned to death, but he managed to escape the Tower of London and returned to Europe where he later died in 1749. The Earldom returned in 1859 when Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton and 1st Earl of Winton (1812–1861) was also created Earl of Winton in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The present is Hugh Archibald William Montgomerie, 19th Earl of Eglinton 7th Earl of Winton.

Glenkinchie Distillery

Visitor Centre

Glenkinchie Distillery is owned by the drinks conglomerate Diageo. Glenkinchie Whisky is a single malt. 

See more about the Glenkinchie Distillery and Johnnie Walker on links below.

Glenkinchie The Lowland Home of Johnnie Walker.jpg
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