A large former mining village, lying on the northern boundary of Midlothian council area, a half-mile (1 km) northeast of the Edinburgh suburb of Gilmerton and 4 miles (7 km) southeast of the centre of the city. The village comprises a preponderance of public housing.
Coal mines once existed at Sheriffhall to the southeast, Woolmet immediately to the east, together with Monktonhall, Newton and Edmonstone Collieries beyond. Woolmet was still open into the 1980s, whereas Monktonhall, which was a modern pit sunk in 1953, finally closed in 1998.
Despite having suffered economically, Danderhall remains a thriving settlement, with facilities such as a library, a primary school, two churches and a community centre.