The New Prestoungrange Gothenberg - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

The New Prestoungrange Gothenberg

There's more to this drinking establishment than meets the eye. 


Anyone passing along the B1348, of the sea-side village of Prestonpans’ High Street, will surely spot the eye catching structure commonly referred to as The Goth. Established in 1908, the Gothenburg, as it was originally named, was modeled after the Swedish town’s temperance scheme. Several mining towns, on either coast of the Firth of Forth, offered financial incentives to landlords who provided food and non-alcoholic beverages to patrons.

A percentage of these sales would be funded back into the community. In this case, the money went to the town’s annual arts festival. As a result, The Goth sports several murals adorning its walls depicting Scottish history and personalities. In the outside courtyard, there is a portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots, Presbyterian minister John Knox, as well as a depiction of ‘The Battle of Prestonpans.’ In the far corner are three panels with the names of all the various victims of town’s witch hunt.

The pièce de résistance lies within the confines of the bar and covers the entire ceiling. What is often referred to as a “grotesque” or “garden style” mural was commissioned by the pub’s owner in 2003. Scottish born artist Andrew Crummy recreated an original 16th-century ceiling that once adorned Prestongrange House with a modern twist, by incorporating many local characters in this bawdy and risqué interpretation. The genuine artwork was moved to Merchiston Tower in Edinburgh, as the lady of the house deemed it too salacious.

Know Before You Go

The New Prestongrange Gothenberg is open daily at noon. There is a parking lot located just across the street. Several bus lines serve the area from Edinburgh.

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March 22, 2024

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