Just 14miles (22.5km) from Edinburgh, Ormiston is a fine example of a planned village. In 1723 John Cockburn had it laid out by Lewis Gordon, a civil engineer from London. The Main Street remains as a model of social planning. Cockburn believed that agricultural improvements and industrial development could progress together and many of his social and industrial experiments were adopted elsewhere. As well as fine farming land the area has rich coal seams and Ormiston grew as a mining village.
The Ormiston Yew is an awesome example of the few 'layering' yews (Taxus baccata) known in Scotland. Weeping branches radiate out from the solid central trunk and take root where they touch the ground, encircling the tree creating a natural cathedral. John Knox the religious reformer is said to have preached here. The trunk measures 23ft (7m) wide. It is thought that the Ormiston Yew could be ten centuries old!
One of Scotland’s top football teams, Hibernian Football Club has a state of the art training centre here!