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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Carriden, a coast parish of Linlithgowshire, containing the villages of Blackness, Bridgeness, Grangepans, and Muirhouses. It approaches within 3 furlongs and 1 mile of the post-towns and railway stations of Borrowstounness and Linlithgow; and is bounded N by the Firth of Forth, E by Abercorn, S by Linlithgow, and W by Bo'ness. Its greatest length, from E to W, is 3¼ miles; its greatest breadth, from N to S, is 17/8 mile; and its area is 3309¾ acres, of which 3¼ are water. The surface, rising somewhat rapidly from the shore to a line about 1 mile inland, declines thence, for the most part, to the southern boundary, but rises again south-westward towards Glower-o'er-em (559 feet) in Borrowstounness parish; in Carriden itself it rarely much exceeds 300 feet above sea-level- Two small headlands are respectively at Blackness in the E and at Bridgeness in the W. The rocks are partly eruptive, partly carboniferous. Trap rock and sandstone are occasionally worked; coal has, from time immemorial, been extensively mined; and a deposit of clay, about 12 feet deep, at Brickfield near Blackness, has been extensively used for making bricks and tiles. Two streamlets, Carriden and Blackness Burns, drain most of the interior to the Forth- The soil is generally light and early, capable of producing good crops. About 90 acres are under wood, and very little is waste. Gildas, about 560, mentions Cair Eden (Gael. 'town at the front') as 'a most ancient city,' the eastern termination of Antoninus' Wall. Scarce a vestige remains here of that huge rampart, but numerous Roman relics have been found-a gold coin of Vespasian, an altar, vases, etc. (See Bridgeness.) With Blackness Castle are associated most of the chief episodes in the history of the parish, a native of which was Col. James Gardiner (1688-1745), who fell at Prestonpans. Carriden House, an edifice of some antiquity, with modern additions, stands on the shore of the Firth, 2½ miles ESE of Bo'ness; it has been the seat of two distinguished admirals, father and son, Sir Geo. Johnstone Hope, K.C.B. (1767-1818), and Sir Jas. Hope, G.C.B. (1808-81). The latter held 728 acres in the shire, valued at £1350 per annum, including £52 for minerals; and the rest of the parish is divided among 25 proprietors, 4 holding each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 1 of between £100 and £500,4 of from £50 to £100, and 16 of from £20 to £50. Carriden is in the presbytery of Linlithgow and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £415. The parish church, near Bridgeness, 1½ mile E by S of Bo'ness, was built in 1766, and contains 458 sittings. Carriden and Grangepans public schools and Carriden girls' school, with respective accommodation for 90,151, and 68 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 41,185, and 65, and grants of £21,19s. 2d., £125,5s., and £52,1s. Valuation (1881) £8239,11s. Pop. (1801) 1493, (1841) 1208, (1861) 1821, (1871) 1799, (1881) 1985.—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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