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Uphall

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Uphall, a village and a parish of S Linlithgowshire. The village stands on the left bank of the Brox Burn, 1½ mile W by S of the town of Broxburn, and 7 furlongs N by W of Uphall station on the North British railway, this being 135/8 miles WSW of Edinburgh, and 5¾ E by N of Bathgate. It has a post office,with money order, sayings' bank, and railway telegraph departments, a public hall, and an inn, once a well-known coaching stage. Pop. (1871) 360, (1881) 591 The parish, containing also the town of Broxburn-, originally was known as Strathbroke ('valley of the brock or badger'); and it took that name from the Burn of Brocks or Brocks' Burn, corrupted now into Brox Burn. It is bounded NE and E by Kirkliston, SE and S by Kirknewton and Midcalder in Edinburghshire, W by Livingston and Ecclesmachan (detached), and NW by Linlithgow and the main body of Ecclesmachan. Its utmost length, from ENE to WSW, is 4¼ miles; its utmost width is 3½ miles; and its area is 4561¼ acres, of which 20¼ are water. The Almond, near Amondell, flows ½ mile north-north-eastward along all the Kirknewton border; and Brox Burn, which joins it some way lower down, takes an east-northeasterly course of 4½ miles, partly along the boundaries with Ecclesmachan (detached) and Kirkliston, but mainly across the interior. The Union Canal, too, traverses the E of the parish for 23/8 miles, here making a westerly bend round the town of Broxburn. The surface is gently undulating, and at no point sinks much below 200, or much exceeds 400, feet above sea-level. The higher grounds, however. command magnificent views of the Lothians, to North Berwick Law and the Lammermuirs. The rocks are carboniferous, belonging to the calciferous sandstone series, with intrusive patches of basalt. They include oleaginous shales, coal, many seams of valuable ironstone, excellent sandstone, limestone, marl, reddish coloured chalk, clay fit for the uses of the brickmaker and the potter, and some coarse fuller's earth. The manufacture of paraffin oil from the shales is a recent and important industry; and hither must be ascribed the rapid increase in the population. There are three extensive paraffin works in the parish-Broxburn; Uphall, recently amalgamated with Young's; and Holmes, lately established. The soil on the lower grounds is a fine black loam, and elsewhere is mainly a fertile clay. Fully seven-eighths of the entire area are in tillage; and much of the remainder is under coppice or plantation. Mansions, noticed separately, are Amondell, Houstoun, Kirkhill, and Middleton Hall; and the Earl of Buchan owns more than half of the whole parish, 4 lesser proprietors holding each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 1 of between £100 and £500, and 2 of less than £100. Uphall is in the presbytery of Linlithgow and the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £450. The parish church, containing 400 sittings, is partly of preReformation date, and partly appears to have been built in the middle of the 17th century. The bell still in use is inscribed 'Campana Sancti Nicholai de Strathbroke, 1441;' and in the Buchan vault are buried the Hon. Harry Erskine (1746-1817) and his brother, Thomas, Lord Chancellor Erskine (1750-1823). Other places of worship are Broxburn Established chapel of ease (1884), Uphall or Broxburn Free church, Broxburn U.P. church (1880), and Broxburn Roman Catholic church of SS. John Cantius and Nicholas (1881). Broxburn public, Uphall public, and Broxburn R.C. schools, with respective accommodation for 348, 225, and 171 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 620, 168, and 136, and grants of £470, 13s., £116, 12s., and £61, 6s. 8d. Valuation (1860) £7878, (1885) £39, 428, 15s. 2d., plus £3652 for railway. Pop. (1801) 786, (1831) 1254, (1861) 1507, (1871) 2772, (1881) 4812.—Ord. Sur., sh. 32, 1757. See the Earl of Buchan's 'Account of the Parish of Uphall' in Trans. Soc. Ants. Scotl. (1796).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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