Parish of Ecclesmachan

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: Ecclesmachan
1834-45: Ecclesmachan

Ecclesmachan (Celt. `church of St Machan'), a village and a parish of Linlithgowshire. The village stands 2 ¼ miles N by W of Uphall station, 3 WSW of Winchburgh station, and 4¾ ESE of Linlithgow. The parish consists of two portions, separated by a strip of Linlithgow parish, 1 mile broad at the narrowest. The north-eastern of the two, containing the village at its SW corner, is bounded N by Abcrcorn and the Aldcathie section of Dalmeny, E by Kirkliston, S by Uphall, and SW and W by Linlithgow; and, with an utmost length and breadth of 1¾ and 1½ mile, has an area of 1107 acres. The south-western portion, bounded N by Linlithgow, E by Uphall, S by Livingston, and SW and W by Bathgate, is the larger, measuring 3 miles from E to W by 1 ¼ mile from N to S, and having an area of 1540½ acres. The surface rises gently from 300 to 600 feet above sea-level in the north-eastern, from 480 to 720 in the south-western, division; and the latter is drained by Brox, the former by Niddry, Burn. The rocks are partly eruptive, partly carboniferous. Sandstone is plentiful; and great beds of indurated clay, interspersed here and there with seams of clay-ironstone, occur in conjunction with trap; whilst coal has been mined in the N. Bullion Well, a mineral spring that issues from the trap rocks of Tor Hill, near the manse, and is weakly impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen, was formerly held in some medicinal repute. With the exception of 130 acres under wood, the whole almost of the land is in tillage. The eminent surgeon, Robert Liston (1794-1847) was a native, his father being parish minister; so too, perhaps, was the poet William Hamilton of Bangour (1704-54), who is best remembered by his exquisite Braes of Yarrow. The property is mostly divided among three. Ecclesmachan is in the presbytery of Linlithgow and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £393. The church, which early in last century was mainly rebuilt, contains 153 sittings; and a public school, with accommodation for 115 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 68, and a grant of £61, 9s. Valuation (1882) £3361, 16s. 5d. Pop. (1801) 303, (1831) 299, (1861) 309, (1871) 329, (1881) 278.—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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