standard-title Lauret Unravelling the mystery of the Lauret Chapel shown on a map dated c.1548.


Unravelling the mystery of the Lauret Chapel shown on a map dated c.1548.

While trying to find additional info for the history timeline I’ve stumbled upon the sketch of Battle of Pinkie c.1548. This period is within the large gap in history of Portobello. After 1296 (forces mustered by William Wallace) there are no records of the area until 1650 when Oliver Cromwell secretly met here (supposedly) with Scottish leaders.

On top of the map (representing the West side) we can see Edinburgh, the middle section is Dalkeith, underneath The River Esk, Cousland, Musselburgh, Inveresk, Fa’side Castle… all drawn in relatively correct places. These items confirm that there are no major errors my interest is in the mysterious Lauret placed in the middle of the map.

Finding the right spot.
What we know: The mysterious Lauret site is located on the west side of The River Esk (which did not change it’s course as the roman bridge in Musselburgh was present there in 1296), it’s next to a burn (with bridge existing at the time), there’s a hill nearby and it looks like it’s half way through between Leith and Musselburgh.

Lets look at the water, 3 major burns/rivers enter the sea on the North (right) side of the map.
The top one (at Lyeth) is clearly the Water of Leith, the one on the bottom is marked as The River Esk. The remaining delta is either Figgate burn, Brunstane burn (or another burn that doesn’t exist today). Note there was a corn mill at Brunstane in the past and a significant mining industry in the area. There are records of small St. Madgalene Chapel as well as the Magdalene Bridge just where the main street crosses the Brunstane burn.

Now it’s time for the hill, lets assume for a second that the placement of Lauret is in fact correct. When travelling between Musselburgh and Portobello we can’t really see any significant hills today but lets look at the topographic map:

Clearly the whole bank of the Brunstane Burn is a long and soft hill, could this be the hill from the map? The search continues and this page is in production.

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