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1745's all very well but what about 832AD @ Athelstaneford?

East Lothian's been a busy place across the centuries for battling folk

Athelstaneford is a battle most Scots are not so well informed upon, and in the same way as Colonel Gardiner sprang to fame in Prestonpans despite being on the losing side, so did Athelstan the Saxon leader there in 832AD when King Angus of The Picts aided by a contingent of Scots, won a surprising victory. After all, the township is named after him!

click on images to enlarge

What the Scots gained from it was the adoption of St Andrew as Patron Saint of Scotland and his saltire cross as the national flag.

Since 1997 however, the Heritage Centre at Athelstaneford has told the story in full and it's well worth a visit. It's a modest but wholly effective presentation within a fine doocot and is cared for in the churchyard without any untoward fuss or bother by the Scottish Flag Trust.

Adam Skirving's Grave and Home to Nigel Tranter too

Athelstaneford may well be just a wee toun but the reason for a visit goes beyond the saltire to include the grave of the poet Adam Skirving who penned Hey Johnnie Cope in 1746; and it was home to the great Scottish historical novelist Nigel Tranter.

The image of the saltire in the clouds below as seen by King Angus in 832AD is to be enjoyed on the interior roofing of the doocot.

.... and good news of additional funding now in hand ...

Published Date: July 8th 2008

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