Tyninghame lies at the end of the B1047 from East Linton, where it meets the A198 from Dunbar to North Berwick. It is no surprise to find that this quiet and attractive village is a Conservation Area and it is good to see that the few new houses that have been added have been built in keeping with the charming character of the village.
But the story of Tyninghame has little to do with its current location. To find the origins of the village you need to look a little over half a mile to the north-east, to where Tyninghame House stands today. The first recorded settler on the north side of the mouth of the River Tyne here was St Baldred, who founded a religious community in the mid 700s. In 941 the monastery at Tyninghame was sacked by Danes based in Northumbria and it seems to have disappeared as a result.
In the mid 1100s a church was built near the mouth of the river and it would seem that a community rapidly grew up around it. Tyninghame, or "village of the dwellers by the Tyne" had formed.
The village and the land around it were long part of the properties of the Bishop of St Andrews, but in 1628 they came into the ownership of the Earls of Haddington. Today Tyninghame Links, north of Tyninghame House, is open to the public and an information board notes that it was the 6th Earl of Haddington and his Countess who from 1700 transformed the landscape of this part of East Lothian through extensive tree-planting.
It was a later Earl who, in 1761, pushed the family's landscaping zeal even further and demolished the 600 year old village of Tyninghame, rehousing the residents in a new village a little to the west (and out of sight of Tyninghame House). Which is why today's Tyninghame is no longer on the Tyne. The remains of the old church, stripped of much of its stonework, was left as an ornament in the flower gardens.
In 1829 Tyninghame House was itself much altered to become the grand baronial edifice you see today. In the early 1900s it was said to contain some of the finest and best furnished rooms of any house in Scotland. However, when the 12th Earl of Haddington died in 1986, the house and contents were auctioned off. The furniture was dispersed globally, though the most important of the books in the library did go to the National Museum of Scotland. Today the house is subdivided into flats.