Oldhamstocks is a very small village and civil parish hidden away in the rolling Lammermuir hills of Southern Scotland.
Oldhamstocks Parish is the easternmost parish of East Lothian. It has a short coastal strip to the north and is bordered by Innerwick on the west and Berwickshire on the east and south.
The name has Anglo-saxon origins (meaning the farm of or by the old homestead). The parish has an unusually high proportion of buildings listed for their architectural merit. In the village they include: the A listed parish church, graveyard walls and watch house; B listed market cross, wellhead, Old Manse, ‘Braeview’, ‘Wight House’ and Stottencleugh farmhouse; and C listed ‘Greenend’, ‘Broadwood’, ‘October Cottage’ and Mill Cottage.
Art by Roni B
The images on this section are courtesy of Roni B and are available for sale by clicking on the title link along with lots of other images from all over Scotland. Thanks for allowing us to display your talent Roni B!
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This section is dedicated to sharing memories and pictures of Oldhamstocks from as far back as we can find. Please do send us any pictures or pieces of information you have for us to share!
This watercolour below shows a bustling fair which took place at the Mercat (or Market) Cross, both the commercial heart of the village and symbol of its right to trade. Oldhamstocks was given the right to a weekly market in 1627. Carse's picture dated 1796 is an important record of a Scottish country fair, as these were becoming increasingly rare. The late eighteenth century saw the disappearance of many rural customs and was a time of great social change in Scotland. Fairs and markets had traditionally been an integral part of the rural economy, fulfilling multiple functions as food, clothing and livestock markets, and as a hiring ground for farm servants. Carse takes great delight in depicting all the local characters, and shows that fairs were also a great opportunity for social gatherings.
The market cross of Oldhamstocks was removed before 1900, the shaft at that time being preserved in the manse gardens.
The shaft of the current market cross was re-erected on a modern base on the village green in the mid 1950's. The original site of the cross was in the North half of the manse garden (exact site not known) which once was part of the village green.
A number of houses in Oldhamstocks bear the name "Cromwell" and Oliver Cromwell is reputed to have stayed at a tavern on the site of the house now known as Cromwell Hall prior to the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. On the 2nd September 1650, Cromwell was ‘cornered’ at Dunbar expecting to be beaten soundly by the Scottish Presbyterian force of Sir David Leslie. The Clerics with the Scottish Army forced Leslie to make a fatal move that allowed Cromwell, on the 3rd September, demolish the Scottish army in the space of an hour.
More information is available at https://www.johngraycentre.org/east-lothian-subjects/war-battles-military/dunbar-1650/cromwells-prisoners/
The sites of Cromwell’s Ha’ at Oldhamstocks’ east end and the Plough, two village inns which had disappeared by the late 1800s, are now occupied by cottages
One notable individual from Oldhamstocks is John Broadwood. John was born in Cockburnspath and grew up in Oldhamstocks in 1732. He inherited his father's profession of carpentry, before walking all the way from the village to London, where he founded the now world-renowned piano manufacturer John Broadwood and Sons.
Another noted person from the area (born 1811 at Birnieknowes to be exact) was Alexander Somerville who was the author of many books and pamphlets including "The autobiography of a working man" which cronicles the farming communities around Dunbar in the 1800's
James Hardy LL.D. (1 June 1815, in Oldhamstocks, East Lothian – 30 September 1898, in Old Cambus, Cockburnspath, Berwickshire) was a Scottish naturalist and antiquarian. He was secretary of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club from 1871 until at least 1896. At least two species have been named in his honour.