Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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A Scheduled Monument in Musselburgh, East Lothian

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Latitude: 55.9481 / 55°56'53"N

Longitude: -3.0197 / 3°1'10"W

OS Eastings: 336414

OS Northings: 673255

OS Grid: NT364732

Mapcode National: GBR 2G.YCJV

Mapcode Global: WH7TT.LR7G

Entry Name: Westpans,potteries

Scheduled Date: 8 November 1991

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5116

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: pottery

Location: Inveresk

County: East Lothian

Electoral Ward: Musselburgh

Traditional County: Midlothian


The monument comprises an archaeological site with only minimal upstanding remains. In the 18th century the coastal village of West Pans was a thriving centre for, inter alia, pottery manufacture, producing a wide range of wares. It came into particular prominence in the 1760s when William Littler, a Staffordshire potter, established a pottery in the village producing porcelain of the highest quality. The physical remains of this industry - including kilns, workshops, storage sheds and waste heaps - survive beneath the present ground level. The physical remains of an associated salt-manufacturing industry will also survive. The two industries co- existed, both declining until production ceased by 1850.

The area to be scheduled measures a maximum of 150m from SW to NE by a maximum of 55m transversely. The SE boundary is formed by the N edge of the carriageway of the public road named Ravenshaugh Road (B1348). The remaining three sides are bounded by recently reclaimed land. The scheduling includes the pavement running parallel to the public road on its N side and all upstanding boundary walls. Excluded from the scheduling are all houses and roofed outbuildings. The area is marked in red on the accompanying plan.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because the village of West Pans was a thriving pottery-manufacturing centre from at least as early as the 17th century through to the early 19th century. The several factories together produced a comprehensive range of wares, from the utilitarian through to the fine wares. Of particular importance is the pottery established by the Staffordshire potter, William Litter, in about 1764 for it was here that the finest Scottish porcelain was made.

The relics associated with Litter's factory and the rest of the pottery industry ' including kilns, workshops, workers' housing and waste heaps ' will be beneath the ground over the whole of the former village of West Pans between the public road and the old shore line. These remains, when properly excavated, will furnish a detailed picture of the Scottish pottery industry during a critical stage in its development from cottage-industry to major industrial producer.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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