©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland


A commuter settlement on a sloping site on both sides of the Gore Water in Midlothian, Gorebridge lies 12 miles (19 km) southeast of the city of Edinburgh and north of the Moorfoot Hills. It developed during the 18th century, thanks to the efforts of the landowner James Dewar of Vogrie, in association with coal mining, limeworks and the manufacture of gunpowder. Stobs Mill was established as Scotland's first gunpowder mill in 1793 and operated until 1875. Arniston Colliery began operations in 1858 to the northwest of the village and comprised two shafts; the Gore Pit which reached 213m (698 feet) in depth and the Emily Pit at 302m (990 feet). The Gore Pit boasted remarkable circular pithead baths, which provided facilities for 570 men and were completed in 1936 at the cost of £12,000. Arniston Colliery employed almost 1000 miners until it closed in 1962. Vogrie Colliery was much smaller and lay to the east of the village. It was producing coal by 1842 and still open in the 1930s. Opencast mining continued at Blinkbonny to the east until the end of 1990s. The railway, which had operated a through route from Edinburgh to Hawick since 1847, closed in 1969. However a new station opened in 2015 on a rejuvenated Borders Railway. In the 19th century the village's spectacular views and the beautiful Arniston Glen made Gorebridge a popular tourist resort. The village grew substantially with the construction of public housing in the 1950s, built to accommodate miners, and again with private housing developments in the 1970s, 1990s and 2010s.

Today, Gorebridge benefits from three primary schools, three churches, a leisure centre, post office, library, police station, medical centre and a few local shops. Greenhall High School, located at the northern end of the village closed in 1993 and was demolished in 2009. Gorebridge has an active Community Development Trust, established in 2004, and a Gala Day which takes place annually in June. Nearby are Borthwick Castle, the remains of Newbyres Castle and an ancient hill-fort on Camp Wood Hill.

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