Ormiston Market Cross
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: One of the few surviving medieval mercat crosses in Scotland
The cross indicated that the village had the right to hold a market - a highly prized privilege in the medieval period. We do not know exactly when Ormiston was granted the right to hold a market but we do know that the right was probably granted by the burgesses of Haddington.
The cross may have been linked to a chapel which once stood across the course of the current High Street.
The chapel was destroyed when the 'new' village of Ormiston was built around 1735 by John Cockburn. Cockburn was a politician and one-time Lord of the Admiralty. He was also an agricultural reformer known as the 'father of Scottish husbandry'.
The cross was probably erected sometime around 1450. It is one of only a handful of surviving medieval mercat crosses in Scotland.
The Historic Scotland information panel suggests that it was originally used as a town cross. An account for 1792 records that it was already 'ancient' and set in the middle of the main street. There are still traces of staples in the cross which were used to chain malefactors as part of their punishment. The cross stands on a stepped base which is not original.
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About Ormiston Market Cross
Address: off Main Street (B6471), Ormiston, Lothian, Scotland
Attraction Type: Historic Building - Cross
Location: At the centre of Ormiston village, 2 miles south of Tranent off the A1
Website: Ormiston Market Cross
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Preston Mercat Cross - 3.3 miles (Historic Building)
Seton Collegiate Church - 3.7 miles (Historic Church)
Inveresk Lodge Garden - 4.5 miles (Garden)
Crichton Castle - 5.4 miles (Castle)
Newhailes - 5.8 miles (Historic House)
Scottish Mining Museum - 6 miles (Museum)
Gosford House - 6.4 miles (Historic House)
Lennoxlove - 6.5 miles (Historic House)
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