“The Goth” has long been an active supporter of the battlefield, and so it is no surprise that visitors to the pub can find a number of points of interest here (as well as fine food and drink, including an in-house microbrewery!).
In the ground floor bistro room, there hang two fine portraits: one depicts Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Jacobite commander (right), and the other Lt-General Sir John Cope. They were by painted by Edinburgh-based artist Kate Hunter, commissioned by the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust in 2010.
In the same room, a cabinet can be found mounted in the wall in which there is a small display of artefacts: an 18th century powder horn of the type used by the Highlanders; musket balls discovered on the battlefield; an early copy of Dodderidge’s “Life of Colonel Gardiner”; 19th century clay pipes excavated on the battlefield; and models showing how some of the local buildings appeared in 1745. But the highlight is the large piece of hawthorn wood – a rare fragment of the famous Thorntree beneath which Colonel Gardiner fought and fell at the battle. There are some other interesting items on the walls around the room as well.
Upstairs there hangs a striking collection of large paintings by local artist Andrew Hillhouse. These dramatic and vivid images depict a sequence of key moments from the battle: the pre-dawn march; the charge of the Camerons; the scene in Tranent manse; the surrender of Cockenzie House; and the aftermath of battle.
There is also a large painting by Ronald Elliot depicting the Prince beside the captured cannons, taking his meal with the great Gaelic poet Alexander Macdonald. Ask at the bar and they will let you know if the room is available for you to view the paintings (it is a popular function room).