The long, rough moorland road either side of Priestlaw was regularly used by people traveling south from East Lothian by horse or trap. Priestlaw was a very convenient stop and, to boot, the nearby Whiteadder was good for fishing. It features in writer Arthur Granville Bradley’s (1850-1943) book ‘The Gateway of Scotland or East Lothian, Lammermoor and the Merse’ (1912).
The old gentleman who lived here at Priestlaw was renowned for his convivial and generous spirit, and, as Bradley recalls in his memories of visiting the area, he knew how to serve a good meal:
‘I can see him dimly yet, in a dark swallow-tail coat and a high white neckcloth, and a pronounced flavour of what even then was old-world punctilio mixed with his warm and hearty manner.
After dinner came an equally, nay, a much more serious function, then pretty general, in the shape of the urn, the rummers, the smaller glasses, the silver ladles, and the main essentials.
And what whisky you got too in the right places, nay, almost anywhere in Scotland in those days – though it was then, of course, almost unknown in England.’