Centre to mark Jacobite victory at Prestonpans moves closer to being built on battlefield

A new history centre commemorating the Jacobite victory at the Battle of Prestonpans is a step closer to being built on the site of the bloody encounter.

Plans to built a history centre to mark the 1745 Jacobite victory at Prestonpans on the battlefield where the encounter was fought have taken a major step forward. PIC: Contributed.

Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust and property developers, Hargreaves Services, have signed a new memorandum of understanding that will explore the creation of the centre at Blindwells, the new town under construction between Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Tranent.

The site of the new town partially covers the battleground where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite Army defeated British Government troops in less than 30 minutes on September 21, 1745, with the victory delivering a huge morale boost for the rebels.

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In recognition of the historical significance of the site, developers have already agreed to name a new park and loch in the town as Prince's Park and Prince's Loch.

The centre, which will overlook the battlefield if it goes ahead, is expected to attract around 100,000 visitors a year with hopes that a statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie in Prince's Park - the first monument of its kind in Scotland - will become a tourist attraction in its own right.

Gordon Prestoungrange, the original Founding Chairman of the Trust, said it was delighted that the agreement to explore the new town as the home of the centre had been made.

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"But more than that, the location of the centre at Charlestoun affords a magnificent opportunity to enhance the sense of place for the incoming community of several thousands over the next three decades.

"And it will be home not just to the battle story set in the broader Jacobite context but home for the internationally acclaimed Prestonpans and Scottish Diaspora tapestries.

The centre will tell the story of the battle in an immersive exhibition. It will also become home to the 104-metre Prestonpans Tapestry and a centre of excellence for Jacobite studies. A cafe and bookshop will also be included.

The trust want further recognition for the pivotal battle and have called upon East Lothian Council to rename the new town as Charlestoun to highight the history of the area and give a "sense of place".

East Lothian Council said a consultation will be held to pick the new name for Blindswells, which was the name of the open cast mine where the new town will now form.

School children will have a say in what the new town, which will deliver 6,000 new homes over the next decade, will be called.