West Lothian

©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland


A hamlet on the Hopetoun Estate in West Lothian, some 3 miles (5 km) west of South Queensferry. The noteworthy parish church is in a small part 12th Century Norman, although it is mostly post-Reformation and was refurbished in 1893. A small museum in the kirkyard preserves the remains of an 8th century stone cross.

The parish of Abercorn (or Aebercurnig) is mentioned by the Venerable Bede as early as 696 AD., being the site of a monastery and residence of a Bishop. An excavation close to the church in 1963 revealed evidence of the monastery. By 1160, the parish became part of the Barony of Aberlady. By then there was a castle and it passed to the Graemes and then, following the death of John the Graeme at Falkirk (1298), to the 'Black' Douglases. The castle was besieged and destroyed by King James II (1430-60) in 1455, never to be rebuilt. In the 16th century the crown bestowed Abercorn on Claud Hamilton. However, despite being forfeited because the Hamiltons had remained loyal to Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87), it was restored to them by King James VI (1566 - 1625), who created Claud the 1st Baron Paisley and his son the 1st Earl of Abercorn. The village and estate then passed through the Mures, Lindsays and Setons before being in 1678 sold to John Hope, whose widow, Margaret, and son, Charles (later the 1st Earl of Hopetoun), in 1699 began the construction of Hopetoun House, just to the east of the village.

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