The landmarks mentioned above can be identified on the bronze and stone direction
plaque (right) erected at the summit in 1959 as a memorial to John Wallace Menzies, Town Clerk from 1926 until his death in
There has been a whale's jaw bone erected at the top of Berwick Law since 1709 as a land mark to guide the sailors home safely.
According to Francis Grose in his Antiquities of Scotland published in 1797 the original jaw bones were replaced around 1789.
They were renewed in the 1850s by landowner Sir Hew Hamilton-Dalrymple from an old Dunbar whale ship. In 1933 they were blown
down and replaced two years later by a jaw bone taken from an Antartic whale, gifted by John Dunlop, the son of a North Berwick
Town Councillor. In 1935 the jaw bone was brought to the town by railway wagon when it still had whale meat hanging from it.
James Mitchell the farmer at Bonnington attached the bone by chain to his Clydesdale horses and dragged it up the hill. After
years of buffeting by the wind, the jawbone became unsafe and was taken down on Monday 20th June 2005. The last bonfire to be
lit at the top of Berwick Law was in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
A new whale bone made from fiberglass was lifted into position by helicopter on 26th June 2008. The replica jawbone is 6.5m
(21ft) in length, five metres of it is above the ground and the other 1.5m will go into the ground. It weighs 560kg (88st)
and the total cost of replacing the jaw bone is about £20,000, funded by Friends of North Berwick who were a group of local
businessman who wanted to provide private funding for this one off project, with East Lothian Council paying around £5000 to
transport the giant jawbone by helicopter to the summit.
It was fabricated by father and son team Tom and Colin Blackie of Ralph Plastics, Macmerry. They used the previous whale
bones to cast exact replicas from fibreglass reinforced with wood and steel for a weatherproof finish.
Remember to make your descent in the same westerly
direction as you climbed up. The cliffs on the north can be dangerous.
Looking to the west you will notice a resevior surrounded by a plantation of
trees at the base of Berwick Law, this was the sourse of the town water supply in the 1870s. The overflow which passes the
car park becomes the Glen Burn and enters the sea in Milsey Bay at the east links.
On the south is the remains of an old quarry which supplied the reddish-brown stone used extensively during the nineteenth
century and gives the town a distinctive colour and style. The masonry on the buildings in Quality Street are unique due to a
vent of black carboniferous basaltic rock found at the quarry and used to pin the reddish brown blocks in the stonework.
Another example of this can be seen on the building at 23-25 High Street. The quarry was closed in the 1950s, and re-opened
in the 1960s especially to supplied the materials used to construct Wishart Avenue.