Parish of Kirkliston

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: Kirkliston
1791-99: Kirkliston
1834-45: Kirkliston
1791-99: Kirkliston
1791-99: Kirkliston
1834-45: Kirkliston

Kirkliston, a village in Linlithgowshire, and a parish partly also in Edinburghshire. The village, occupying a rising-ground on the left bank of Almond Water, has a station on the Queensferry branch of the North British, 1½ mile NNW of Ratho Junction, 3½ miles S of South Queensferry, and 10 W (by road only 8) of Edinburgh. It takes name from the parish church and Liston Manor, being distinguished by the prefix Kirk from Old Liston, New Liston, Over New Liston, Hal Liston, and Liston or High Liston, all in the same parish. Some of its houses are good and modern, yet it offers on the whole a poor appearance; and has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, an inn, and a long established distillery. A foot-bridge over the Almond was constructed in 1846 to give access to Ratho station, and is over 100 feet long. The parish church, with 700 sittings, is very ancient, having a fine S Norman doorway, and including the old burying vault of the noble family of Stair, with the ashes of the first countess, the ` Lady Ashton ' of Scott's Bride of Lammermoor. The Free church had a spire added in 1880. Pop. (1841) 840, (1861) 572, (1871) 647, (1881) 747.

The parish, containing also Winchburgh village in Linlithgowshire and Newbridge hamlet in Edinburghshire, includes a detached Edinburghshire section, called Listonshiels, lying among the Pentland Hills at the boundary with Peeblesshire, 4 miles SSW of Balerno and 7¾ (as the crow flies) S of Kirkliston village. Its church having once belonged to the Knights Templars, it was anciently called Temple Liston. The main body is bounded on the NW by Dalmeny (detached) and Abercorn, N by Dalmeny, E by Cramond and Corstorphine, S by Ratho and Kirknewton, SW by Uphall, and W by Ecclesmachan. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 5 miles; its utmost width is 43/8 miles; and its area is 7716¾ acres, of which 67 are water, and 5397 belong to Linlithgowshire. The Listonshiels or detached section is bounded NE and N by Currie, E by Penicuik, SE by Penicuik and Linton in Peeblesshire, and SW by Midcalder. With an utmost length and breadth of 2¼ and 2 miles, it has an area of 1892½ acres. Almond Water winds 63/8 miles north-eastward along all the Midlothian boundary of the Linlithgowshire section, which is traversed by Brox and Niddry Burns, two affluents of the Almond, whilst a third, Gogar Burn, flows ¾ mile north-north-eastward along all the Cramond boundary. The Union Canal goes 2¼ miles across the southern wing of the main body, and, after making a detour through Uphall, proceeds 15/8 mile northward through the western part of the Linlithgowshire section. Springs are abundant and not a little various, affording ample supplies of pure water, and offering solutions of magnesia, lime, and iron. The surface of all the main body is a plain diversified with very gentle rising-grounds, and, with altitudes ranging from 80 to 320 feet above sea-level, everywhere, but specially along the Almond, presents a pleasing appearance. The Listonshiels section has a southward ascent from 900 to 1750 feet above sea-level, and is drained by head-streams of Bavelaw Burn to the Water of Leith. The rocks belong to the Calciferous Sandstone series of the Carboniferous formation, with intersections of basalt, trap tuff, and diorite; and include sandstone, limestone, ironstone, bituminous shale, and whinstone, all of economical value. A beautiful durable sandstone is quarried on Humbie farm, and furnished the material for the Glasgow new Exchange. The soil here and there is very wet clay, on some haughs is light earth or deep sand, and elsewhere varies from a strong clay to a rich black mould. But a small proportion of the parish is under wood, nearly all the remainder being in a state of high cultivation. Prof. Andrew Dalzell, F.R.S. (17421806), the eminent scholar, was a native. A field SW of the village of Kirkliston is pointed out as the spot where Edward I. of England encamped on his way to Falkirk (1298); and near some large stones in a field by Newbridge, stone coffins, spear heads, and other relics of some ancient battle have been found. A prominent object is the stupendous viaduct of the Edinburgh and Glasgow section of the North British railway over the Almond; and the chief antiquities are the Catstane, Illiston or Eliston Castle, and Niddry Castle. These are all noticed separately; as also are the chief mansions, Newliston, Clifton Hall, Fox Hall, and Ingliston. Nine proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 4 of between £100 and £500, 2 of from £50 to £100, and 12 of from £20 to £50. Kirkliston is in the presbytery of Linlithgow and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £473. Kirkliston, Nellfield, and Winchburgh public schools, with respective accommodation for 323, 62v, and 108 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 207, 36, and 34, and grants of £170, 1s., £40, 11s., and £15, 4s. 8d. Valuation (1860) £16, 811, (1882) £28, 301, of which £6251 was in Edinburghshire. Pop. (1801) 1647, (1831) 2265, (1861) 1917, (1871) 2187, (1881) 2580, of whom 1984 were in Linlithgowshire.—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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