East of Edinburgh, Prestonpans is the site of a famous battle.
Prestonpans lies on a gentle slope which rises from the seashore to the slight ridge which is occupied by the main line Edinburgh to London railway. In the past, Prestonpans relied heavily on coal mining. Other industries were also important in the town including the salt works, soap-making, brewing, brick-making and pottery.
Many important people have visited Prestonpans. In 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie, claimant to the throne of Scotland, came with his Jacobite army and soundly defeated the government army at Prestonpans. And in 1777, Sir Walter Scott, aged six, stayed in Prestonpans for a holiday and to indulge in sea bathing.
Prestonpans is also home to some impressive examples of historic architecture. Preston Tower is the one time seat of the Hamiltons of Preston. The gardens of this 15th century tower house and doocot have been restored with elements of 17th and 18th century Scottish Gardens. The Mercat Cross is the only one of its kind in Scotland which remains in its original form and location. The Memorial to the Battle of Prestonpans is in the form of a modest mason built cairn, and sited close to the Battle site near Meadowmill.
On the outskirts of the town is Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum. The museum contains exhibitions on mining as well as equipment from its working days including steam trains. It also houses a magnificent Cornish Beam Engine of 1874.
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