- NORTHESK, lately a quoad sacra parish, comprising the sea-port of Fisherrow, in the parish of Inveresk, county of Edinburgh, 5 miles (E. by S.) from Edinburgh; and containing 3414 inhabitants. The town of Fisherrow is situated on the western bank of the Esk, near its influx into the Frith of Forth, and forms part of the town of Musselburgh, with the rest of which it is connected by three bridges over the river, whereof one, erected after a design by the late eminent Sir John Rennie, is of very handsome appearance. The Highstreet, on a line with the London road, is spacious, and contains many substantial and well-constructed houses; and Bridge-street, leading to Musselburgh proper, is also elegantly built; but the houses in most of the other streets and in the lanes are of a far inferior description, and inhabited chiefly by persons employed in the fishery prosecuted off the coast. The fish taken are, haddock, cod, turbot, ling, skate, flounders, whiting, and occasionally soles and mackerel, in which twentyeight boats, averaging twenty tons' burthen, and having each a crew of five men, are, with nearly an equal number of smaller boats, constantly engaged during the season. The owners of the larger boats proceed to Caithness, Dunbar, and Sunderland, from the middle of July till September, during the herring season: in December, they make voyages to the east of the Isle of May, each boat generally in favourable seasons realizing a profit of £120. The produce of the fisheries is usually carried in baskets by the fishermen's wives and daughters to Edinburgh and other towns in the vicinity.The trade of the port is identified with that noticed in the article on Musselburgh; and the inhabitants of this place, in addition to their participation in the manufactures of that town, are engaged in the salt-works of the parish, and in the making of bone-dust for manure, in which about 200 persons are employed. In the vicinity are some handsome seats and villas; the principal are Belfield, Campie, and Olivebank. There is a post-office; and facility of communication is afforded by the road from Edinburgh to London, and by the Edinburgh and Dalkeith railway. The late parish was separated for ecclesiastical purposes from Inveresk, by act of the General Assembly, on the erection of the church, which contains 1000 sittings, and was opened for public worship on the 9th of September, 1838; the structure is in the later English style of architecture, and was built by subscription at a cost of £2500, of which £375 were a grant from the Assembly's fund, and £200 from the presbytery of Dalkeith. The minister derives his stipend mainly from rents of seats; and the patronage is vested in trustees chosen by the male communicants, heads of families. There are places of worship for Burghers, Independents, and Wesleyans. One of the burgh schools is here; also a school maintained by Sir Charles Fergusson, Bart.: in connexion with the church is a Sabbath school, to which is attached a library of 500 volumes, and which is attended by nearly 200 scholars; and there is an infant school, supported by subscription.See the articles on the parish of Inveresk and burgh of Musselburgh.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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