On 20th September 1745, the day before the main battle of Prestonpans, a Jacobite detachment of Camerons occupied the church and churchyard, just to the north of the village of Tranent. This detachment successfully ambushed a reconnaissance by the Customs Officer Walter Grosset, who had volunteered to help General Cope. The Cameron detachment had been placed there by Colonel O’Sullivan, without consulting Lord George Murray. It was a perfectly sensible military precaution to occupy such an advanced position, but Lord George Murray ordered them to be withdrawn. The church is shown on this map.

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Wooden Railway Track

One feature of the Prestonpans battlefield was a wooden railway track. This ran from the open-cast coalmines at Tranent down to the port at Cockenzie, using coal wagons pulled by horses, similar to the pit-ponies used in underground mines. The history of this railway track, or waggonway, is here.

The railway track is shown on this map of the battlefield (from the Osprey “The Jacobite Rebellion 1745-46” by Gregory Fremont-Barnes).

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