Broxburn, West Lothian

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Scottish Gaelic: Srath Bhroc
Broxburn is located in West Lothian
 Broxburn shown within West Lothian
Population 12,892 [1] (2001 census)
est. 14,140[2] (2006)
OS grid reference NT081722
Council area West Lothian
Lieutenancy area West Lothian
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Broxburn
Postcode district EH52
Dialling code 01506
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Livingston
Scottish Parliament Almond Valley
List of places

Coordinates: 55°56′04″N 3°28′17″W / 55.934374°N 3.471336°W / 55.934374; -3.471336

Broxburn (Scottish Gaelic: Srath Bhroc) is a town in West Lothian, Scotland located 12 miles (19 km) west of Edinburgh on the A8 road. It is situated approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) from Edinburgh Airport, and to the north of Livingston.

As a commuter town serving the M8 corridor into Edinburgh and the industrial areas of Livingston, Broxburn has seen a recent increase in immigration, especially from Poland.


Greendykes Road as of 2005

The village that later became Broxburn probably originated around 1350 when Margery le Cheyne inherited the eastern half of the Barony of Strathbrock (Easter Strathbrock) on the death of her father, Sir Reginald le Cheyne III. The hamlet that grew up around her residence was then called Eastertoun (eastern town) after the land on which it stood. The lands of Strathbrock were earlier owned by Freskin the Fleming, granted to him under a charter from King David I of Scotland

Eastertoun was burned to the ground sometime in 1443-4 during a conflict between William Douglas, Lieutenant-General of Scotland, and William Crichton, Chancellor of Scotland. It was destroyed again in 1455 during fighting between the Douglases and King James II of Scotland. After the conflict was resolved the village was gradually resettled.

The village was renamed Broxburn in 1600 by Sir Richard Cockburn of Clerkington, Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland, almost certainly after Broxburn, East Lothian. The name most likely derives from Brooks burn - brook (or bourn) meaning a boundary, and burn meaning a stream. Later Brooks burn became Brox burn and so Broxburn. Brox may also derive from broch, a Celtic round tower fortification, or from "brock", the old Celtic word for badger.



Former Broxburn shale oil works, taken from the top of the bing of spoil from the works. The surviving buildings of the works, now known as Albyn Industrial Estate, are in the middle of the picture. The villages of Broxburn and, to the right, Uphall are beyond and Livingston is visible on the skyline.

Broxburn remained an agricultural community until the development of the oil shale industry in the area during the second half of the nineteenth century. This brought in a rapid influx of workers, greatly expanding the local population. Broxburn is still known for its association with the industry, pioneered by the inventor and industrialist James Young. Many shale spoil tips, known as bings, are still in evidence around the town.


Broxburn now has two separate industrial areas, the Greendykes Industrial Estate and the East Mains Industrial Estate, which provide employment for local people. The largest employers are Campbells Prime Meat Limited, Glenmorangie and Broxburn Bottlers Limited (part of Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd). The headquarters of Kwik-Fit, the automotive repair company, are also located in Broxburn.


The Union Canal passes through Broxburn. It no longer operates as a transport link, but is now used for fishing and some leisure boating. It has a towpath previously used by the horses which drew canal barges and which is now used as a footpath.

Notable people[edit]


Broxburn has four schools, all state funded, Broxburn Primary, Kirkhill Primary, St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Primary and Broxburn Academy. Broxburn Academy is one of the top state academies in Scotland; with its well regarded Science and Maths departments.

Sports and health[edit]

Broxburn is home to the junior football club Broxburn Athletic. There are sports and health facilities publicly available, including a sports centre, library, swimming pool and bowling clubs. A motorcycle dirt track was built at The Sports Park in 1928 and a few demonstration events were staged to show off the new sport to football fans. Due to Broxburn's proximity to Edinburgh it was not licensed. Another demonstration event at motorcycle club event in 1929 ended after both riders crashed.


Broxburn lies in the Livingston constituency of the British Parliament and the Broxburn, Uphall and Winchburgh ward of West Lothian Council. Broxburn is in the Almond Valley constituency of the Scottish Parliament.


Broxburn has regular links to Edinburgh, Livingston, Linlithgow, Edinburgh Airport and Leith. Operators serving the town include, First, E&M Horsburgh, and Nordi Travel. The nearest railway station is at Uphall Station providing links to Edinburgh, Livingston, Bathgate, Airdrie and Glasgow.

Hospitals and churches[edit]

The local hospital is St. John's Hospital at Howden in Livingston. Broxburn has its own health centre at the Strathbrock Partnership Centre. It has five churches, Broxburn Baptist Church, Broxburn Catholic Church, Broxburn Parish Church, Grace Community Church and St Nicholas United Free Church of Scotland. There are also some other religious groups active in the town, including Jehovah's Witnesses and several evangelical Christian organisations.


Canule, Canule, Birnin Bricht— by David Kerr, 2005
Discovering West Lothian by William F. Hendrie, John Donald Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh, 1986
A History of Broxburn by Peter Caldwell
Strathbrock Area Guide prepared and published by Uphall Community Council with assistance from Broxburn Community Council and Ecclesmachan & Threemiletown Community Council


External links[edit]