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Gullane's Marine Hotel which became the Scottish Fire School.

Gullane’s Marine Hotel which became the Scottish Fire School.

On a daily commute from Gullane it can be surprising how much history can go flying by.  It all starts at the end of the road where the newly closed Fire Collage sits.  The main body of the College is a magnificent building with a fabulous interior which you would expect in a hotel which it initially was.  It was in 1899, when the Hopes of Luffness announced they were to build a hotel in Gullane right next to the railway terminus. The Marine Hotel was formally opened on 28th June 1900.  However, it was mentioned in The Haddingtonshire Courier, only two years later that the hotel was sold for the princely sum of £10,000.   It was requisitioned by the army during both World Wars and afterwards opened up as The Marine Hotel, once again.  Unfortunately, the Hotel did not survive and in 1953 it was sold to the Scottish Office for £13,500 and became the Scottish Fire Service Training School.

Bisset's Hotel which was later to become Muirfield Nursing Home.

Bisset’s Hotel which was later to become Muirfield Nursing Home.

Another building to note as I make my way to work is The Muirfield Care Home. It was 1892 that Mr. James Bisset, a butler at Archerfield House, built the hotel which was originally called The Royal Archers Hotel.  However, the name was changed to The New Hotel, The Late New Hotel and finally Bisset’s Hotel.  It was in 1986 that the largest part of the hotel then became Muirfield Care Home. Bisset’s clung on to the end of the building until last year when it finally closed its doors to the public. There are a great number of buildings of historical interest and I couldn’t leave the village without mentioning

One of the oldest buildings in Gullane, the Smithy features in many photos in The John Gray Centre collection.

One of the oldest buildings in Gullane, the Smithy features in many photos in The John Gray Centre collection.

The Old Smiddy which was built around 1690 and was in use for approximately 200 years. St Andrew’s Church dates from the second half of the 12th c with 13th c and 15th c alterations. This was the original parish church (the parish anciently being called Golyn), and was in use until 1612 when the stonework was removed and used to build a new church in Dirleton.

On the way out of Gullane in the distance you can see the remains of what was Saltcoats Castle.  This castle was built in 1592 by Patrick Livington (or Lethington).  It is said that he was granted a large part of land for dispatching a wild boar which was terrorising the area.  In 1704 the last of the Levington’s died in Saltcoats Castle.

Driving along the A198 I’ll cut off at Luffness Mains and head along Avenue Drive and make my way along the back of Aberlady.  After passing Ballencrief and heading up the A6137 in the direction of Haddington the next item on the list is very visible from the road.

The monument on the hill is often called Garleton Monument by locals simply because it is situated in the Garleton Hills, next to Garleton Farm.  However, should you climb to the top of the hill you’ll notice the inscription which states:

“This monument was erected to the memory of the Great and Good John, Fourth Earl of Hopetoun by his affectionate and grateful tenantry in East Lothian. MDCCCXXIV”

It was in 1824 that this monument was erected in memory of John Hope, 4th Earl of Hopetoun.

Haddington smallpox hospital which later became the TB sanitorium until 1925.

Haddington smallpox hospital which later became the TB sanitorium until 1925.

On heading down the hill, when you reach the T-Junction at Blackmains, you may notice there is a public right of way on your right-hand side. This road leads along to where the Smallpox Hospital was located and opened in 1907. The hospital served its purpose well until the First World War when the disease was all but eradicated. It was then rented by the County Tuberculosis Committee and used as a TB sanatorium until 1925 when a purpose-built unit was built at East Fortune.

On reaching the bottom of the hill the building on your right-hand side was originally the Vert Hospital.

The Vert Memorial Hospital, Haddington, was founded in 1929 by John Vert of Pendleton, Oregon, as a gift to his

Founded in 1929 by John Vert of Pendelton, Orgegon, as a gift to his native town.

Founded in 1929 by John Vert of Pendelton, Orgegon, as a gift to his native town.

native town. Between 1930 and 1940 a maternity section was added consisting of six beds and by the time the hospital transferred to the National Health Service in 1948 its bed complement had increased to 22.  From 1948 to 1974 the hospital formed part of East Lothian Hospitals Board of Management and was used as a maternity hospital. On the reorganisation of the National Health Service in 1974 the hospital became part of North Lothian District of Lothian Health Board and ceased to be a maternity hospital. It finally served as an annexe to the nearby Herdmanflat Hospital.

Whilst I normally travel a bit further to my final destination in Haddington, I’ll terminate this journey here as Haddington itself can be a lot more entries.

 

One Response to A Daily Commute

  1. Tania Fairbsirn says:

    I wonder if you can help? I have a very old photograph of my paternal grandfather & great grandfather outside of Templarcroft. I understand my Great Grandfather used to stay there following his return from being in the army, in India. The current owner informed me that this was previously used as a dorm overflow for The Royal Archers Hotel. I would be delighted to hear any information about the use of Templarcroft as I try to piece together my family history. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards.

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