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Tranent from the air (geograph 5837698).jpg
Tranent from the air
Tranent is located in East Lothian
Tranent is located in Scotland
Location within Scotland
OS grid referenceNT404728
• Edinburgh9.1 mi (14.6 km)
• London398.9 mi (642.0 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townTRANENT
Postcode districtEH33
Dialling code01875
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°56′42″N 2°57′14″W / 55.945°N 2.954°W / 55.945; -2.954Coordinates: 55°56′42″N 2°57′14″W / 55.945°N 2.954°W / 55.945; -2.954

Tranent /trəˈnɛnt/ is a town in East Lothian (formerly Haddingtonshire), in the south-east of Scotland. It is near the A1 road, 2 miles (3 km) southeast of Prestonpans and about 9 miles (14 km) east of Edinburgh.[1] It is one of the oldest towns in East Lothian, and built on a gentle slope, about 90 metres (300 ft) above sea level. The population of the town is approximately 12,582, an increase of over 4,000 since 2001, making it the second most populated town in East Lothian after Musselburgh. Tranent was formerly a major mining town, but now serves as a commuter town for Edinburgh.

Memorial to the Massacre of Tranent in Civic Square
The memorial commemorates people who resisted British militia conscription in 1797.[2]


The name is thought to be of Brythonic origin, possibly containing the elements Tre and Nant, meaning town over the stream Travernant.

Tranent was once an important mining town, and coal was first worked there in the thirteenth century by the monks of Newbattle Abbey who mined a nearby 2.5m / 7  ft thick coal deposit called the 'Great Seam'.[1] The history of coal mining in Scotland is mirrored in the history of the coal heughs, mines and pits of Tranent. Tranent is now a commuter town supporting the south-east of Scotland and, more specifically, Edinburgh.

The Massacre of Tranent took place in 1797, when local people were killed by soldiers after protesting against conscription into the British Army.[3] One of the 12 victims, Jackie Crookston, is depicted on the memorial that commemorates the dead in Tranent's Civic Square.[4]

In connection with the annual commemoration of the Battle of Prestonpans (originally called the Battle of Gladsmuir, and then renamed the Battle of Tranent, before many decades later being renamed the Battle of Prestonpans) there are plans to recreate a small portion of the Tranent to Cockenzie Waggonway[5] which dates back to 1722.

There is a long history of settlement in Tranent, perhaps dating back to prehistory. There are several historic buildings in and around the town, including the ruins of the old parish church, parts of which date from the 11th century and which was demolished in 1797, while a few miles south-west of the town stands Fa'side Castle, sometimes known as Falside or Fawside, a fourteenth-century L-shaped tower house.[6]

Isabella Begg nee Burns, the youngest sister of Robert Burns, moved to Tranent from Ormiston with her family after her son William resigned his post as the schoolmaster. She supported her family with the help of her daughters Agnes and Isabella, working as dressmakers.[7][8] In 1843 she moved to Bridge House in Alloway, South Ayrshire.


Coal was first mined in Tranent Parish when Robert de Quincy granted rights in the early-thirteenth century to the monks of Newbattle to mine at Prestoungrange, which was then part of that parish. Soon many wealthy families in the parish joined the rush to mine coal. Heughs (surface mines), were being cut throughout the area. Longniddry, St. Germains, Fa'side, Ormiston (much later town) and Elphinstone, all parts of old Tranent, had their collieries and for the next 750 years, the industry prospered. Other industries grew to employ increasing populations: distilleries, breweries, tanneries and metal implement works. Quarries opened providing stone for homes. Farming was modernised and mills opened to provide food. The nineteenth-century saw a slowdown in industrial growth and, gradually, industry centralised and moved to larger centres. The coal industry had peaked and the twentieth century brought about a slow, but terminal decline. The last large deep mine closed in 1961, then in 2000, the opencast mine at Blindwells closed.


William Dunbar's poem the Lament for the Makaris includes the name Clerk of Tranent as a poet, probably of the fifteenth century, citing him as an author of the Anteris of Gawain. Some examples of such works exist but he has not been traced.

Tranent is the birthplace of Lizzie in Lucy Booth's novel 'The Life of Death', a chilling love story in which Lizzie/Death enters a pact with the devil to regain her life, live and love.

Tranent's Gala[edit]

Since 1934 Tranent has held a Gala Week which is arranged by local volunteers who are part of the Gala Committee. Events during the gala week include the crowning of the Queen who is accompanied by 29 other children from the town, the celebrations on the fields at Ross High School and the grand parade which is made up of local groups and people and which goes through the town. Tranent Gala is funded by donations and fundraising.

The Gala was first formed in 1934 by the miners of Tranent who aimed to form a special event for people in the town.

Local amenities[edit]


The town has two supermarkets. On the east of the town's High Street, there is an Asda supermarket which opened in August 2015.[9] There is also an Aldi supermarket on the far east side of the town which opened in October 2015.[10] The store is the second largest Store that Aldi operates in Scotland and the largest in the county of East Lothian. The town also has a Farmfoods store.

Convenience stores[edit]

There are many small convenience stores in Tranent. On the town's High Street, convenience stores include Thomsons Convenience Store and an Edinburgh Evening News store. On the south side of the town, in the Windygoul area, there is a Co-operative food store and in the west of the town, there is a Day-Today store.

Sport & leisure[edit]

The town has many football pitches, astroturf and rugby pitches. The town is also home to four children's play-parks. There are also three bookmakers – Ladbrokes, Betfred and William Hill. The town's leisure centre "The Loch Centre" has a swimming pool, children's soft play area, fitness gym and sports halls. There is also a major youth club in the town: "Recharge" supports teens and young adults from the area. A cinema and community centre is also located in the town centre: the "Fraser Centre" was formed in 2011 and "aims to provide a Learning, Development, Arts and Entertainment Centre at the heart of the Community of Tranent".

Food & drink[edit]

Tranent is home to many take-away food establishments such as Mr Crolla's, Joe's & Marmaris Grills (all fish and chip shops), Altaf Khan & The Hill Station (both Indian takeaways) and The Tranent Villa, Canton Express & Gourmet Palace. Potter's sandwich shop, Snak Shack and Baguette Express are also located within the town.

Restaurants in the town include Giancarlo's (an Italian restaurant) and a small café-style restaurant called The Coffee Lounge. A dessert shop called Sweet Haven is also located in Tranent, which sells ice cream, sweet desserts and "pick and mix" candies.

The town is also home to A S Gardener & Son Butcher, Janet's Green Grocers, The Bakers bakery and a Greggs branch.

The Brigg Inn, a local pub, also sells food at the Brigg Bar & Grill.

Banking & finance[edit]

The town has an RBS branch.

Location Travel Agency is the town's only travel agent and is located at 136 High Street.

Alex Lafferty Ltd is a lawyers firm also located in the town. The town is also home to three estate agents, Mckinnon and Forbes, Allan McDougall and GSB. All of these are located on the High Street

Local businesses

Local businesses within the town include Bisset & Steedman which sells electronics, Veerman's Hardware & Pet Supplies, Gardners the Butcher, Location Travel Agency, Ferguson's Pet supplies, City Savers, A1 Sheds, Sweet Haven, Hoi Barbers and The East Lothian Camera Shop.


Bars in the town include The Tower Inn, The Keepers Arms, The Brigg Inn, The New Plough Inn and Whispers Bar.[11]


Tranent Health Centre

Tranent falls within the NHS Lothian Health Board is home to two pharmacies: a Well Pharmacy and a Lloyds Pharmacy These pharmacies serve the local GP practice which is the responsibility of NHS Lothian. The nearest hospitals include The Roodlands General Hospital in Haddington which is a community hospital offering general medical and geriatric rehabilitation services to patients in East Lothian. It also provides older people’s services, including continuing care for the elderly and the nearest Accident and Emergency hospital is the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.



The A1 road also runs by the town with a junction at the north of the town.

The A199 road[12] runs through the town westbound to Edinburgh, and eastbound to Macmerry.

Public transport[edit]

Transport For Edinburgh[edit]

Most bus services in the town are operated by Transport For Edinburgh, these operations include Lothian Buses and East Coast Buses which provide services:

26 Clerwood - Edinburgh Zoo - Haymarket - Princes Street - Portobello - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Prestonpans - Tranent

104 West End - Princes Street - Abbeyhill - Meadowbank - Duddingston South - The Jewel - Wallyford - Tranent - Macmerry - Haddington

113 West Granton - Western General - Princes Street - Meadowbank - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Wallyford- Tranent - Ormiston - Pencaitland

106 Fort Kinnaird - Musselburgh - Wallyford - Tranent - Macmerry - Gladsmuir - Haddington - East Linton - West Barns - Belhaven - Dunbar

N44 Balerno - Currie - Slateford - Haymarket - Princes Street - Meadowbank - Willowbrae - Eastfield - Musselburgh - Wallyford - Tranent

N106 Frederick Street - Leith Street - Meadowbank - Willowbrae - Musselburgh - Tranent - Macmerry - Haddington - East Linton - Dunbar

Prentice of Haddington[edit]

The town is also served by Prentice, a bus & coach company based in Haddington, East Lothian

108 Fort Kinnaird - Newcraighall - Musselburgh - Levenhall - Wallyford Station - Tranent - Macmerry - Gladsmuir - Haddington

110 Elphinstone - Tranent - Meadowmill Sports Centre - Prestonspans - Port Seton

122 Haddington - Pencaitland - Ormiston - New Winton - Elphinstone - Tranent - Meadowmill Sports Centre - Prestonpans

Education & learning[edit]


The town is home to three primary schools and one secondary school. The primary schools are; (largest to smallest) Windygoul Primary School, Sanderson's Wynd Primary School and St Martins Primary School. The secondary school Ross High School, Tranent established in 1954 accommodates over 1023 pupils from Tranent and villages around the area; these are Macmerry, Ormiston, Humbie, Elphinstone, Pencaitland, and Saltoun. The headteacher of Ross High School is Paul Reynolds.


In October 2012 a new council building was opened under the name of The George Johnstone Centre which is named in honour of the miner who saved the lives of more than 50 men at Fleets Pit, Tranent when the mine flooded in 1929. The men took five hours to find an alternative way out, but all were rescued and survived thanks to the early warning given by George Johnstone. The building accommodates a range of services including a large library with a computer area, and council offices allowing residents to access housing and tenancy advice, report a housing repair, report minor crime to Police Scotland and make Council Tax and rent payments and general enquiries. The building is run by East Lothian Council.



The local football team is Tranent Juniors who won the Scottish Junior Cup in 1934–35, being the runners up two seasons before. The Juniors play their football at Foresters Park in the centre of the town.


The Ross High Rugby Football Club currently plays in the RBS East Regional League Division 1 and play their home games at Blawearie Road, adjacent to the Ross High School.


The local club is Tranent Cricket Club which was established in 2010. The club currently plays in the East of Scotland Cricket Association Divisions 3, 6 and 7. The club has three Saturday league sides, two midweek social sides and a junior section, Tranent Titans. Tranent CC are the current holders of the East Lothian twenty20 Cup and the East of Scotland Plate.[citation needed]


Tranent is the home of Radio Saltire, Scotland's Online Community Radio Station. Its studios are on Civic Square.[13]

Places of Worship[edit]

Throughout the history of Tranent, there have been several places of Worship. Currently, there is:

Tranent Parish Church (Church of Scotland) - The present church at Tranent was built by John Simpson and opened in 1800, as what is believed to be at least the third church in the town. Local legend has it that a chapel dedicated to St. Martin of Tours and was associated with Lindisfarne in the 8th century. The first known mention of a church at Tranent came in 1145 when it was established by the archdeacon, Thor, son of a local landowner. The church was granted by Richard, Archbishop of St Andrews and later confirmed by Saer de Quincy, the local baron. Tranent parish came under the jurisdiction of the canons of Holyrood Abbey and the building was described as being of a higher standard than the normal country church. Although a settlement grew around the church by 1251, it remained in the hands of Holyrood. There are also canonical records of a chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, situated on a ridge overlooking a coal-bearing ravine at Travernant.

The church was badly damaged in 1544 and 1547, each time by the forces of the Earl of Hertford during the Rough Wooing. Tranent Parish Church joined the Scottish Reformation when Thomas Cranstoun, the first minister took over from the evicted canons and the last Roman Catholic priest, Thomas Moffat; the church of St. Peter was now a reformed Protestant church. The church remained a ruinous condition, after Somerset's attack, into the 17th century and, though it was refurbished, it is not known when. The church was said to have been restored, extended and improved throughout, but in 1799 the decision was made to build a new church which was opened in 1800, a church which still stands high above the ravine overlooking the Firth of Forth. At a total cost of over 10,000 pounds, the church was extensively refurbished and refurnished in 1954. The congregation had to meet in the town hall during the work, but the church they returned to is much the same as it is today. The church is a category B listed building. Meets at 11 am every Sunday unless intimated at the church located on Church Street.

St Martins of Tours (Roman Catholic) - This is the third church building on the site in one hundred years and was built in 1969, to designs by the prolific church architect Charles W Gray, in an octagonal shape using a Scandinavian compressed timber girder design. Contains two rough stained glass windows and an early 20th-century Italian crucifix above the altar. Irish limestone statue of classical design of St Martin as a Roman soldier and an original icon of St Martin in Orthodox style. Sunday Mass 9.30 am; Monday Eucharistic Service, 9.00 am; Tuesday Mass, 7.30 pm; Wednesday Eucharistic Service, 10.00 am; Thursday Mass, 10.00 am; Thursday Mass, 10.00 am; Friday Eucharistic service, 10.00 am

Tranent and Cockenzie Methodist Church - Sunday service is at 11.00 am - In 2014, Cockenzie became a class of Tranent Methodist Church. In 2015, Tranent with Cockenzie began to meet and worship together at 28 Edinburgh Road, Prestonpans.

The Salvation Army - 10.30am, Sunday Worship. 25 Winton Place, Tranent.

Rivers of Fire Ministry - Formally the Fraser centre. Currently, meet and worship with the Salvation Army and are in the process of building a new centre.

Several independent congregations meet in and around Tranent.

Notable residents[edit]

Places of interest[edit]


  1. ^ a b M., Munro, David (2006). Scotland : an encyclopedia of places & landscapes. Gittings, B. M. (Bruce M.), Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Glasgow: Collins. p. 464. ISBN 9780004724669. OCLC 225152110.
  2. ^ Logue.
  3. ^ "Tranent, 1797". Scottish Mining Website. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Overview of Joan (Jackie) Crookston". Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Baron Courts: News - Restoration Goal for the Tranent to Cockenzie Waggonway across which the Battle raged!". 16 October 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  6. ^ Groome 1895, p. 448.
  7. ^ Begg 1894, p. 31.
  8. ^ Begg 1894, p. 66.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Tranent pubs and bars; pubs in Tranent, el #". Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  12. ^ "A199 - Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki". Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Radio Saltire awarded charity status". East Lothian Courier. 11 November 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2015.

External links[edit]