Elphinstone, East Lothian
The remains of Elphinstone Tower
|Elphinstone shown within East Lothian|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Half a mile west of the village, Elphinstone Tower, built in the 13th to 15th century, is a former five-storey tower, now a ruin, with only the lower level remaining. The Elphinstone clan held the lands of Elphinstone in Lothian of which Sir Alexander Seton of that Ilk was Lord: Alexander de Elphinstone, died ca. 1290; John Elphinstone, knight; Alexander Elphinstone of that Ilk; William Elphinstone; William of Elphinstone of that Ilk, knight; Alexander Elphinstone of that Ilk, killed in battle 1436; Henry Elphinstone of Pittendreich.....
Elphinstone Colliery was formerly the main employer; now Inveresk Research International is one of the main employers in the area. Elphinstone Tower Farm produces cereal crops.
The population has been declining, but the village still has basic amenities, including a Primary School, community centre, shop, inn and a miners welfare club.
There is a fairy story about a witch called Meg who is supposed to have been involved in the naming of the village. Meg had servants who were elves and she was cruel to them. One day she went to the burn in between Elphinstone and Ormiston and ate in her carriage, telling her servants not to disturb her. One elf broke into her carriage once she had fell asleep and stole some of her left overs. Meg, however, awoke and caught him. She took him back to Elphinstone and trapped him in her stone or "Meg's chuck". Hence the name Elph (elf) in stone.
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