The name of Gogar first appears on a map in 1233. It may be derived from "cog" or "gowk", an Old Lowland Scots term for cuckoo, a bird with known ritual significance in ancient times, or from the Brythonic term for red, "coch" (cf "Red Heughs" in the vicinity).
There are several standing stones and hill fort sites of ancient origin in the vicinity. Gogar was the site of a medieval village, Nether Gogar, which has long since disappeared, although the small Gogar Kirk (church) still stands as a reminder of the village it once served. The church dates from the 12th century; while the present building was mostly rebuilt by J. A. Williamson between 1890-1, the 16th century south transept is still intact. The church fell out of use by 1602 and was thereafter used as a mausoleum. It is currently a cabinet-maker's workshop.
On 27 August 1650, a skirmish took place around Gogar between the forces of Oliver Cromwell and General Leslie, who was camped in the area around Gogar Kirk. While the marshy ground prevented the opposing sides meeting at close quarters, both sides fired cannon upon the other inflicting some casualties.
Cromwell described the incident, which lasted from 3pm-6pm, thus:
We marched westward of Edinburgh towards Stirling, which the Enemy perceiving, marched with as great expedition as was possible to prevent us; and the vanguards of both the Armies came to skirmish, - upon a place where bogs and passes made the access of each Army to the other difficult. We, being ignorant of the place, drew up, hoping to have engaged: but found no way feasible, by reason of the bogs and other difficulties. We drew up our cannon, and did that day discharge two or three hundred great shot upon them; a considerable number they likewise returned to us; and this was all that passed from each to the other. Wherein we had near twenty killed and wounded, but not one Commission Officer. The Enemy, as we are informed, had about eighty killed, and some considerable Officers. Seeing they would keep their ground, from which we could not remove them, and our bread being spent, - we were necessitated to go for a new supply: and so marched off about ten or eleven o’clock on Wednesday morning.
In 2003, medieval remains were discovered near the site of the new headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Pottery shards, rubbish pits, and animal bones were unearthed north of the A8, opposite the bank's headquarters. The items suggest the site was used for agriculture in medieval times.
In 2005, the new headquarters of the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency was opened in farmland bordering the M8.
- James Pittendrigh Macgillivray (1856-1938) is buried here with his wife Frieda.
- Thomas Grainger engineer (1794-1852)
There are a number of large 18th century and 19th century villas in the area - including Gogarbank, Over Gogar, and Gogar Park House.
The most notable historical building is probably Castle Gogar, an A-Listed Scottish Baronial L-plan mansion. It was built in 1625 by the master architect William Ayton for John Cowper, whose father had bought the estate in 1601, and his wife, Helen Skene of Hallyards Castle. The castle replaced an earlier building of 14th-century origin, traces of which can be found in the castle's foundations. The original Castle Gogar (Gogar House), built about 1300, belonged to the Forresters of Corstorphine; in the 16th century, the owner was Robert Logan of Restalrig who sold the house and lands to Adam Couper in 1601. The property was extended in the mid-1700s and again in the 19th century when the Scots Baronial features such as the tower and turrets were added. Castle Gogar was owned for over 200 years by members of the Gibson-Maitland and the Steel-Maitland families, until the death of Brenda Steel-Maitland in 2002. It has since been restored, the restoration funded by development of new homes in the castle grounds  The castle itself, including 3.656 acres of grounds, has since been put up for sale by its owners for £2.9 million
Another important historic building is Millburn Tower, a mansion with extensive wooded grounds. It has a castellated keep (built 1806), with a long range of lower building attached.
The depot for the new Edinburgh Trams is located at Gogar. In December 2008, Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson MSP announced that there would also be a new £43m Gogar railway station on the Fife Circle line to integrate with the tram line and provide connections to Edinburgh Airport.
Gogarburn tram stop will also serve the centre of the village.
- T Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, London 1888, p.175
- Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/50717/details/edinburgh+glasgow+road+castle+gogar/
- Castle Gogar http://rathohistory.co.uk/cg.htm
- "Glasgow Road, Edinburgh EH12 9BQ properties for sale | Buy houses & flats in Glasgow Road, Edinburgh EH12 9BQ". PrimeLocation. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- Castle Gogar revisited http://descentfromadam.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/castle-gogar-revisted/
- "For Sale, Castle, Edinburgh, Horses, Historical". Rettie.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7302534.stm news.bbc.co.uk
- http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2008/12/10101843 scotland.gov.uk