The Churchyard

There are numerous headstones and other grave-markers in the 'old' churchyard, chiefly of late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century date, which reflect the thriving farming and trading community of East Linton and Prestonkirk.

The oldest gravestone dates from 1685 and bears a fine carved figure of the deceased, the 18-year-old Margaret Mille. Oldest Stone
Of particular interest are the graves of some of East Lothian's most famous sons. Not surprisingly, three were pre-eminent in the field of agriculture:
Meikle Andrew Meikle (died 1811) is buried on the south side of the church to the right of the path leading from the churchyard gate to the main church door. He was employed as a civil engineer at Houston Mill, directly across the river from the churchyard.
His headstone is very informative:-

Descended from a race of ingenious mechanics,
To whom the Country, for ages, had been greatly indebted,
He steadily followed the example of his ancestors,
By inventing and bringing to perfection
For separating Corn from the Straw,
(Constructed upon the Principles of Velocity,
And furnished with fixed Beaters and Skutchers.)
Rendered to the Agriculturists of Britain,
And of the Nations,
A more Beneficial Service than any hitherto
Recorded in the Annals of Ancient or Modern Science.
Rennie George Rennie (died 1828) is buried on the east side of the church. Farmer at Phantassie, immediately beyond Houston Mill, George Rennie is remembered not only for being the brother of John Rennie, the famous civil engineer (who was brought to his profession by Andrew Meikle and is buried in St Paul's Cathedral, London), but also for his own considerable contribution to agricultural improvements.
Brown Robert Brown (died 1831) is buried close to George Rennie to the south-east of the church. The tenant farmer at Markle, in the west of the parish, Robert Brown was also a successful agriculturist and is best remembered for his writings on the subject, and particularly his editorship of the influential Farmers Magazine.
noble Also interred within the churchyard, a little to the north-east of the church, is Robert Noble RSA, the artist, who lived in Preston Road and before his death in 1917 painted many scenes of East Linton and the surrounding landscape.

Follow the links below for more information about Prestonkirk


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Text © Chris Tabraham, formerly Principal Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Historic Scotland

Page last updated 28th May, 2012
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