"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Travel Report: Whittingehame Church, Scotland.

Whittingehame Church East Lothian Scotland.

May 2019. The late evening light was rapidly fading when we arrived at Whittingehame Church. After an incredibly fun afternoon exploring the sights of East Lothian’s country lanes, we’d finally reached our last stop.

Located in the dictionary definition of middle of nowhere in the heart of some lovely Scottish countryside, this certainly isn’t your average church.

Visit Whittingehame Church East Lothian Scotland.

Whittingehame Church, Scotland.

A mile west you’ve got the village of Stenton, while another village, East Linton, lies two and a half miles south. Whittingehame itself is a tiny parish community perched on the slopes of the Lammermuir Hills.

With nothing but the sound of rustling tree leaves and flittering birds to accompany our footsteps, my friend Spackles and I headed inside to check out the interior.

Inside Whittingehame Church Scotland.

Inside Whittingehame Church, Scotland.

Whittingehame Church was built in 1772, but greatly expanded in 1820 by a man called James Balfour. Furthermore, he established a tiny village near the church, comprising of just a handful of sandstone cottages and a modest schoolhouse.

Whittingehame Church, Scotland.

Arthur James Balfour Memorial Whittingehame Church Scotland.

Whittingehame Church, Scotland.

Amazingly, James’ grandson Arthur Balfour went on to become Prime Minister of The United Kingdom between 1902 and 1905. That’s not a bad claim for such a tiny village Hence they took the trouble to commemorate the man’s humbling beginnings with this memorial plaque within the church.

Arthur James Balfour former British Prime Minister

Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930).

Moreover, Arthur’s brother, Francis Maitland Balfour, went on to become one of the great biologists of his time.

Graveyard Whittingehame Church East Lothian.

Whittingehame Church, Scotland.

Aside from the plaque the interior was stark and perfectly silent, with no sign at all of The Reverend David Scott. According to the sign outside Sunday services still take place here.

Graveyard Whittingehame Church Scotland.

Whittingehame Church Graveyard.

The church graveyard is really enchanting. Especially with all its ancient gravestones set among dense, knotted trees.

Commonwealth War grave Whittingehame Church East Lothian.

One of the Commonwealth War Graves.

There are a number of Commonwealth War Graves at Whittingehame Church Graveyard. I would be fascinated to know how Mr. I. Mendoza ended up resting here in this unlikely corner of Scotland.

Diarmid Noel Malone Whittingehame Church East Lothian.

Whittingehame Church Graveyard.

From all the graveyards I’ve visited around the world, there’s invariably a stone like this that catches my eye. It’s always sad to see someone so young lose their life. Diarmid was actually one of Spackles’ nursery school friends back in the late 1980s.

The graveyard at Whittingehame Church East Lothian.

Whittingehame Church Graveyard.

For more on the region, see my articles from across East Lothian.

To delve further afield, you can also take a look at my travel articles from all around Scotland.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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  • Sartenada

    Great post. Thank you. In Finland we have mainly Bell towers separated from churches.

    Have a good day!

    December 20, 2019 - 9:59 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey, thanks for taking the time to comment. Would love to make it to Finland someday!

      December 20, 2019 - 10:05 am Reply
      • Sartenada

        You are welcome! If you love to shoot photos of our wooden churches, then here is an example:

        Old church at Petajavesi

        Happy Friday!

        December 20, 2019 - 10:45 am

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