Industrial East Lothian (AD 1800–Present)

Spilmersford Limekiln, PencaitlandAlthough East Lothian is mainly seen as a rural county, it was home to many important and successful industries, which were of massive social and economic importance to the area.

For example, saltpans provided salt for chemical and glass works, as well as the means to preserve fish and other foodstuffs.  Limekilns were an important element in both industry and farming, taking limestone and burning it down to lime which was then used on the fields as a fertiliser.

Some of these industries started in the medieval period, but the surviving examples tend to date from 1800 onwards.

Some examples of these are:

  • breweries
  • commercial mills
  • distilleries
  • railways
  • the great industrial and mining complexes

East Lothian has some amazing examples of buildings illustrating this time of industrial development. To find out what sites are available to visit check out the Heritage Explorer 2 leaflet.




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