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|Scottish Gaelic: Dail Mheinidh, Dail M'Eithne|
Dalmeny Kirk, one of the finest Norman churches in Scotland
Dalmeny shown within Edinburgh
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||City of Edinburgh|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Edinburgh West|
|Scottish Parliament||Edinburgh Western|
Dalmeny (Scottish Gaelic: Dail Mheinidh) is a rural village and civil parish in Scotland. It is located on the south side of the Firth of Forth, 1 mile (1.6 km) east-southeast of South Queensferry and 8.3 miles (13.4 km) west-northwest of central Edinburgh. It was formerly in the county of West Lothian, but now falls under the local governance of the City of Edinburgh Council.
The name Dalmeny is either of Cumbric origin: deriving from Din Meini, "stony fort" cf. the earlier form Dunmanye (1562), most likely referring to Castle Craig above the town; or potentially of Scottish Gaelic origin, being now Dail Mheinnidh or Dail M'Eithne in the modern language. This may refer to an ancient ecclesiastical settlement, dedicated to an obscure (female) saint Eithne. The local parish church may have been dedicated to her, but is now dedicated to St Cuthbert.
The village has its own primary school, which teaches about a hundred pupils, and a railway station near the south end of the Forth Bridge, which also serves South Queensferry. At one time the village was served by a village shop and post office, but these have closed down due to competition from numerous out of town supermarkets.
The present church building dates from the early 12th century, and is recognised as the finest Norman/Romanesque parish church still in use in Scotland, and one of the most complete in the United Kingdom, lacking only its original western tower, which was rebuilt in a sympathetic style in 1937. The aisleless nave, choir and apse survive almost complete from the 12th century. The refined sculptural detail of the chancel and apse arches is notable, as is a series of powerful beast-head corbels supporting the apse vault. These features are also extremely well preserved, with the original tool-marks still visible. The elaborate south doorway is carved with the signs of the zodiac and an "agnus dei", enlivened with blind arcading above. The door is comparable to the north door at Dunfermline Abbey. Nearby is a rare 12th-century sarcophagus carved with 13 doll-like figures (possibly Christ and the 12 apostles) in niches (now very weathered). The churchyard also has a number of fine 17th- and 18th-century gravestones. Interrments in the churchyard include the advocate and historian John Hill Burton (1809–1881).
When viewed from a distance the church appears to rise on a mound above the local topography. It is speculated that it is built on a pre-Christian burial mound.[original research?] This would mean that the graveyard predates the church. A second detached mound of smaller size lies on the east road out of the village.
Apart from its parish church, the most significant building is the 19th-century Dalmeny House, to the east of the village, which is the home of the Earls of Rosebery. The most notable earl was Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, who served as Prime Minister from 1894 to 1895. The village itself consists of 19th-century cottages along the main street, with 20th-century housing to the south close to the A90. To the south of the A90 is the Dalmeny Tank Farm, a large oil-storage facility operated by BP. The facility was constructed in the 1970s on a former oil shale mine, and is screened by a mound of the waste material from the mine. Oil is transferred to and from the site from tankers moored at the Hound Point Terminal in the Firth of Forth.
- John Chesser (1819–1892), architect, was born in Dalmeny and later succeeded his father as clerk of works to the Dalmeny Estate.
- Watson, W. (1926) A History of Celtic Place-names of Scotland". Edinburgh
- "Dalmeny Kirk". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- Buildings of Scotland:Lothian, by Colin McWilliam
- Stephen C Dickson; investigation on pre-christian influences on christian architecture
- "Dalmeny Tank Farm". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "John Chesser". Dictionary of SCottish Architects. Retrieved 15 October 2013.