Explore centuries of history at East Lothian Archaeology & Heritage Fortnight 2023

25 August 2023
St Mary's Church, Haddington
John Knox's connections with Haddington, and the 1650 Battle of Dunbar are just two of the topics to be included in this year's East Lothian Archaeology and Heritage Fortnight

East Lothian Archaeology & Heritage Fortnight 2023 celebrates the richness of East Lothian's cultural heritage and archaeology at events throughout the county this September.

This year’s programme includes both in-person and online events, from guided walks and talks, excavations and surveys, to online exhibitions and videos.

Festival highlights

This annual heritage showcase runs from Saturday 2 September to Sunday 17 September and includes events at sites across the county. This year’s highlights include:

  • the Cockenzie and Port Seton Box meeting – a celebration of a unique fishing tradition which includes free entertainment, activities for children and culminates in a parade through the village
  • a workshop exploring Gaelic waulking songs at Preston Mill
  • an exhibition on the history of the Co-op
  • hands-on participation in the Waggonway Dig at Cockenzie and visit to the current archaeological investigations locating the remains of a Franciscan Priory in Haddington

There are a number of guided walks on offer exploring the history of Wallyford, Aberlady, Cockenzie, Haddington, the ruins of St Andrews Kirk, Gullane in addition to tours of Lennoxlove House, Pinkie House and Loretto School Chapel, Musselburgh and Papple.

John Knox and Haddington

The historic kirk of St Mary’s in Haddington is the focus of two guided tours – one which will explore in detail John Knox’s connection with Haddington and St Mary’s before, during and after the events of the Scottish Reformation, and another which sees the role of the church and its building at the centre of the Siege of Haddington in the mid 16th century.

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War and battles feature strongly in the county’s history and this year’s programme includes an online presentation on the Siege of Haddington, and exhibition and talk on the 1650 Battle of Dunbar,

In addition to participation in archaeological digs other practical events include woodworking workshops, pinhole photography, writers workshop and ‘waulking’ (beating newly woven cloth) to music.

The full programme is available here. Please note that some events require prior booking.

Archaeology and Local History Fortnight is organised by East Lothian Council Archaeology Service with the support of the local history and heritage societies, the National Trust for Scotland and the Scottish Battlefields Trust. The fortnight is part of Archaeology Scotland’s annual Scottish Archaeology Month. For more information visit Archaeology Scotland.

Image copyright James Denham, CCASA 2.0