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Parish of Dalmeny

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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1791-99: Dalmeny
1791-99: Queensferry
1834-45: Dalmeny
1834-45: Queensferry

Dalmeny, a village and a coast parish of NE Linlithgowshire. The village stands 3 furlongs N by E of Dalmeny station on the Queensferry branch of the North British, this being 1- mile SE of South Queensferry and 8¾ miles WNW of Edinburgh, under which there is a post office of Dalmeny; a pretty little place, it commands from its rising-ground a fine view over the neighbouring Firth.

The parish, containing also the hamlet of Craigie, includes the island of Inchgarvie, but since 1636 has excluded the royal burgh of South Queensferry, which it surrounds on all the landward sides. It is bounded N by the Firth of Forth (here from 9 furlongs to 3¾ miles broad), E by Cramond, S by Corstorphine in Midlothian and by Kirkliston, and W by Abercorn. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 45/8 miles; its width, from N to S, varies between 1½ and 3 miles; and its area is 6797¼ acres, of which 16¾ are water, and 656 belong to the detached Aldcathie portion. The river Almond winds 21/8 miles east-north-eastward, roughly tracing all the Midlothian border; and Dolphington Burn runs to the Firth through the interior, whose surface nowhere much exceeds 200 feet above sea-level. It is, however, charmingly diversified by the three rocky and well-wooded ridges of Dundas, Mons, and Craigie, and falls rather rapidly northward to the Firth, where the shore-line, 4¾ miles long, is backed by a steepish bank. The rocks belong to the Calciferous Sandstone series, with patches of basalt intruding at South Queensferry, Dundas Castle, Craigiehall, and Hound Point, and a larger one of diorite over much of Dalmeny Park. The soil of Aldcathie and of the higher grounds is generally a shallow clay, on a cold bottom; but that of the slopes and low grounds is a fertile loam, whercon thrive first-rate crops of wheat, potatoes, and turnips, as also the luxuriant and picturesque plantations of the Earl of Rosebery. Noteworthy are two ash-trees at Craigiehall, which, 80 and 90 feet high, girth 10¼ and 16 feet at 1 foot from the ground. Employment, other than that of agriculture and those connected with South Queensferry, is furnished by recently-established oilworks. John Durie, a learned divine and would-be uniter of divided churches, was minister from 1648 to 1656; and William Wilkie, D.D. (1721-72), eccentric author of the forgotten Epigoniad, was born at Echline farm. In 1662 Sir Archibald Primrose, Bart., lord-clerk-register of Scotland and a lord of session, late lord-justicegeneral, purchased from the fourth Earl of Haddington the barony of Barnbougle and Dalmeny; his third son, Archibald, was, in 1700, created Baron Primrose and Dalmeny and Viscount Rosebery, in 1703 Earl of Rosebery; and his fifth descendant, Archibald Philip Primrose (b. 1847; suc. 1868), holds 24,220 acres in Mid and West Lothian, valued at £24,844 per annum (£2616 for minerals). See Rosebery and Malleny. On 3 Sept. 1842, a very wet day, the Queen and Prince Albert drove over to lunch at Dalmeny. The park is described in her Journal as ` beautiful, with trees growing down to the sea. It commands a very fine view of the Firth, the Isle of May, the Bass Rock, and of Edinburgh. The grounds are very extensive, being hill and dale and wood The house is quite modern; Lord Rosebery built it, and it is very pretty and comfortable.' On 16 Aug. 1877 Her Majesty again visited Dalmeny Park. Other mansions, both separately noticed, are Dundas Castle and Craigiehall. Dalmeny is in the presbytery of Linlithgow and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £434. The church, at the village, contains 350 sittings, and, consisting of nave and chancel, is the most perfect specimen of Norman architecture to be found in Scotland.- Without, the chief feature is ` the main entrance door in a porch projecting to the S, the archway of which is supported on two plain pillars with Norman capitals. There are over this door the remains of a line, concentric with the arch, of sculptured figures and animals, many of which are fabulous, and bear a considerable resemblance to those which appear on the ancient sculptured stones. The interior has a fine massive simple effect. The small chancel, lower than the rest of the church, is in the form of an apse, consisting of a semicircle with the arc outwards, under a groined arch, the ribs of which are deeply moulded and ornamented with tooth-work. 'So wrote Dr John Hill Burton in Billings' Antiquities (1845); and at Dalmeny that able antiquary and historian was fitly buried, 13 Aug. 1881. Two public schools, under a common school-board, Dalmeny and South Queensferry, with respective accommodation for 160 and 275 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 102 and 149, and grants of £82,7s. and £101,10s. Valuation (1860) £11,404, (1882) £17,251,8s. 9d. Pop. of parish (1801) 765, (1831) 1291, (1861) 1274, (1871) 1492, (1881) 1643, of whom 612 were in South Queensferry parliamentary burgh; of registration district (1871) 916, (1881) 1031.—Ord. Sur., sh. 32,1857.

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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