Charlestown was a planned village created by Charles Bruce, the 5th Earl of Elgin in the 1750s. Not only did he give it his name, he also gave it his initials. The original layout of the village, still visible, is in the form of the letters "CE", from his formal title of Charles Elgin.
This was all part of Charles' grand design to make most effective use of his estate's main assets: the coal and the limestone that lay under it. Lime had been processed at neighbouring Limekilns for centuries, but what Charles Elgin built at Charlestown was on a truly industrial scale.