The name Prestongrange comes from the medieval village of Preston or "Priests' Town". A "Grange" was a farm belonging to a religious house.
Today the industries of Prestongrange are silent, but once this compact area was the hub of a dynamic, successful and integrated industrial complex. And indeed, much of its story lies at the core of Scotland's Industrial Revolution.
The story of coal mining alone stretches back almost a thousand years, when coal was used to boil seawater in great metal salt pans. Salt and coal were soon being traded along the coast. The harbour enabled easy export and access to exotic raw materials.
By the nineteenth century, mining had supported not just salt-making but also the manufacture of bricks, clay-pipes, soap, fine pottery, chemicals, beers and even glass in a complex of integrated industries.
The last brick-making operations closed in the 1970s, and since 1993 the site has been in the care of East Lothian Council Museums Service.
The museum was the first local authority museum in Scotland to achieve full Accreditation under the MLS accreditation scheme.
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