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Statistical Accounts of Scotland

Linlithgowshire (West Lothian)

Old and New Statistical Accounts


Bo'nessCarridenAbercornDalmenyQueensferryLinlithgowEcclesmachanUphallKirklistonTorphichenBathgateLivingstonWhitburn

Abercorn Dalmeny Queensferry
Bathgate Ecclesmachan Torphichen
Bo'ness Linlithgow Uphall
Carriden Livingston Whitburn

Links are to the GoogleBooks and EDINA sites. On EDINA site go to "browse scanned image" to see appropriate page. Additional information on parishes can be found on the Vision of Britain site.

New Statistical Account
The NSA links below are to this point where the original accounts can be accessed - search for page number. Alternatively see the EDINA site. Use the back button on the browser to return to parish account.



Abercorn
OSA
No particular mention of roads though there is reference to daily communication with Edinburgh and a large trade in limestone. There was an old monastery here in Anglo-Saxon times.

NSA - page 31
South Queensferry and Linlithgow are the nearest market and post towns. The turnpike from Queensferry to Linlithgow passes through; other roads are statute labour. Roads and bridges are in good condition. Coal is used as fuel.

Bathgate
OSA
Walter, High Steward of Scotland, lived here in the 1300's. His dwelling was in a morass and had several causeways leading to it. There is a turnpike from the ironworks at Cleugh to Bo'ness and a branch from the Edinburgh to Glasgow road via Whitburn. The roads are good despite the number of coal and lime carts on them. The statute labour is mostly in kind at the discretion of the overseer. Where commuted the rate is 12/- per ploughgate. The streets in Bathgate are very bad despite the amount paid by the village towards the roads.

NSA - pages 162 and 168
There is a weekly grain market and a post office. Roads and bridges are in good condition. The Bo'ness to Lanark turnpike and the middle road between Edinburgh and Glasgow pass through. Before the railway there used to be some 12 to 18 coaches on this road, now all have ceased to operate. There are seven fairs each year for cattle and horses. The fuel used is coal. Much milk and butter is sent to Edinburgh and Airdrie each week. Prior to the building of the middle road between Glasgow and Edinburgh there was no direct road between east and west, just very poor parish roads.

Borrowstounness

General View of Bo'ness
General view

OSA
Considerable trade is carried on through the port. There are two public roads: Bo'ness to Linlithgow and Cleugh Ironworks road and one by the waterside going to Falkirk and Queensferry. There are several crossroads.

NSA
Roman remains - page 128
The Antonine Wall runs through the parish and remains of the military road that ran south of the wall have been found recently near Inneravon and just east of Kinneil House.
Stone on Kinneil Muir - page 130
At Kinneil Muir, on the former road between Linlithgow and Falkirk, there was a very large stone (7x5x3 feet) with a cross in its centre. As it affected the ploughing it was blown up.
Port - page 139
The port here is considerable. It developed from the mid 1600's due to trade with the continent. Goods were taken to Linlithgow, Stirling, Glasgow and the west. Post town. Annual fair. Coal has been worked here since mediaeval times.
Canal - page 148
The fact that the Forth & Clyde canal ended at Grangemouth put an end to the considerable trade with Glasgow which had been carried out on pack horses and carts.

Carriden
OSA
No mention of roads. There are 100 carts used in the coal works.

NSA - pages 68 and 72

Replica of Roman Distance Slab
Replica of Roman Distance Slab

The Roman Wall ended in this parish. A few years ago remains of a causeway were dug up between Blackness Castle and the Carriden to Walton road. The nearest market and post town is Bo'ness. The village of Cuffabouts was thought to have been called Causewayfoot originally. The Linlithgow to South Queensferry turnpike passes through and another public road is being built from Grangemouth to Bo'ness and then by Carriden to join the turnpike at Champany. The other roads are reasonable. In the past considerable trade was carried out at Blackness.

 

 


Dalmeny
OSA
Mention of the great road between Edinburgh and Linlithgow. There are 7 carters/carriers, 2 "horse-letters", 6 chaise drivers, 3 coaches and several chaises in the parish.

NSA

Roman road
- page 103
It is very likely that a Roman road continued from Cramond by Barnbougle and Dalmeny, through Abercorn and Carriden to the eastward end of the Antonine Wall. Roman remains have been found along this line.
Roads - page 106
Parish roads are excellent. The fine Great North Road from Edinburgh enters the parish at Cramond Bridge, built in 1821, and ends at Newhalls where boats sail hourly to North Queensferry. The fares are thought to be high. It is planned to run a ferry between Cramond and Burntisland with a railway extension north of Burntisland which could affect the ferry here. The North Mail uses the ferry, as well as coaches to Aberdeen, Perth, Dunfermline and Crieff.

Ecclesmachan
OSA
No mention of roads. Butter and buttermilk carried to Edinburgh.

NSA -page 114
There is a post office in Uphall and markets in Linlithgow and Bathgate. The Edinburgh to Falkirk and the middle road to Glasgow run through or close to the parish. The parish roads are excellent.

Kirkliston
Although the parish was divided by the River Almond into a western part under Linlithgow shire (West Lothian) and an eastern part under Edinburghshire (Mid Lothian), the Statistical Account deals with it under Mid Lothian.


Linlithgow

Linlithgow Palace and Lake Historic Town Centre
Linlithgow Palace and Loch Historic Town Centre

OSA
Roads are good and extensive. The burgh used to have exclusive trading rights from near Cramond to the mouth of the Avon - its port was Blackness. Right to levy a toll on cattle using the bridge or crossing the Avon elsewhere. There are two inns.

NSA
Romans - page 174
A Roman road to a camp in Bo'ness parish runs north of the lake and seems to have been connected with the Wall.
Roads - page 183
There was a battle at Linlithgow Bridge in 1526. St Magdalene's, east of the town, and dating from the middle ages, was a hospitium where travellers could stay. Post office. Seven miles of turnpike and 30 miles of parish roads, all good. There is a weekly market and 6 annual fairs. Coal is used as fuel.

Livingston

The old village - Livingston is now a bustling new town of 60,000

OSA
The Edinburgh to Glasgow road passes through. The writer discusses the strategic importance of the River Almond.

NSA - page 115
The area was used for hunting when royalty stayed at Linlithgow. Stone from a quarry near Blackburn is sent to places up to 30 miles away, although the quarry has now been given up as it was encroaching on the public road. The nearest market is Mid Calder. Coal comes from Benbar, 4 miles away.

 

Queensferry
OSA
An account is given of the ferry Some of the roads money could be used to improve the landing places at the ferry.

NSA - pages 2 and 9

Queensferry today
Queensferry today

There was a crossing point here from very early on. It was called Freti Transitus by the Romans who about 83AD had reached as far as Loch Leven in Fife. Queen Margaret crossed here frequently on her way to Dunfermline, hence its name. The Great North Road is in excellent repair as is the Edinburgh road. The latter was the first turnpike in West Lothian, dating from 1751. There is a post office, and coaches to Edinburgh and the north pass through.


Torphichen
OSA
Statute labour
Details are given of the statute labour assessment which is based on the plough gate. Mention of the Cleugh turnpike road.
Refuge stones
An account is given of the refuge stones, the Preceptory having the right of sanctuary. One is in the churchyard, the others are one mile away to the north, south, east and west.

NSA - page 52

Torphichen Preceptory
Torphichen Preceptory

There is a pillar in the churchyard with a cross carved on it with four other stones sited one Scots mile away to the east, west, north and south. These stones mark the area where refuge could be sought. They are still in their original position. There are markets in Bathgate and Linlithgow. The Linlithgow to Bathgate, Linlithgow to Glasgow via Armadale and the middle road to Glasgow pass through. The parish roads are very good. The assessment rate is L2 per plough gate.

Uphall
OSA
Dairy produce carted to Edinburgh. High roads are funded by statute labour and subscription. The commutation rate is 15/- per plough. Local basalt is excellent for road making. The cost of a chain of 24 foot wide road is 28/-.

NSA - page 85
No specific mention of roads. Coal is obtained locally and freestone is taken to Edinburgh.

See also Account of the Parish of Uphall, by the Earl of Buchan, Archaeologia Scotica, Vol I, 1792 (Archaeology
Data Service).

Whitburn
OSA
There are highroads from Edinburgh to Glasgow and Bo'ness to Cleugh running through the parish. Many people make a living by carting grain from Leith and Dalkeith to Glasgow and returning with pig-iron.

NSA - page 76
No specific mention of roads.

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Interesting Points

Abercorn
There was an old monastery here in Anglo-Saxon times.

Bathgate
Walter, High Steward of Scotland, lived here in the 1300's. His dwelling was in a morass and had several causeways leading to it. Prior to the building of the middle road between Glasgow and Edinburgh there was no direct road between east and west, just very poor parish roads.

Borrowstounness The Antonine Wall runs through the parish and remains of the military road that ran south of the wall have been found recently near Inneravon and just east of Kinneil House. At Kinneil Muir there was a very large stone (7x5x3 feet) with a cross in its centre. As it affected the ploughing it was blown up. Coal has been worked here since mediaeval times. The fact that the Forth & Clyde canal ended at Grangemouth put an end to the considerable trade with Glasgow which had been carried out on pack horses and carts.

Carriden
The Roman Wall ended in this parish. A few years ago remains of a causeway were dug up between Blackness Castle and the Carriden to Walton road.

Dalmeny
It is very likely that a Roman road continued from Cramond by Barnbougle and Dalmeny, through Abercorn and Carriden to the eastward end of the Antonine Wall. Roman remains have been found along this line. It is planned to run a ferry between Cramond and Burntisland with a railway extension north of Burntisland which could affect the ferry here.

Linlithgow
The burgh used to have exclusive trading rights from near Cramond to the mouth of the Avon - its port was Blackness. Right to levy a toll on cattle using the bridge or crossing the Avon elsewhere. A Roman road to a camp in Bo'ness parish runs north of the lake and seems to have been connected with the Wall.

Livingston
The area was used for hunting when royalty stayed at Linlithgow.

Queensferry
There was a crossing point here from very early on. It was called Freti Transitus by the Romans who about 83AD had reached as far as Loch Leven in Fife. Queen Margaret crossed here frequently on her way to Dunfermline, hence its name. The Edinburgh road was the first turnpike in West Lothian, dating from 1751.

Torphichen
There is a pillar in the churchyard with a cross carved on it with four other stones sited one Scots mile away to the east, west, north and south. These stones mark the area where refuge could be sought. They are still in their original position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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