|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2007)|
Kirkliston shown within Edinburgh
|Council area||City of Edinburgh|
|Lieutenancy area||West Lothian|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Edinburgh West|
|Scottish Parliament||Edinburgh Western|
Kirkliston is a village within the outlying jurisdiction of the City of Edinburgh in Scotland. It lies ten miles from the city centre. It sits on the historic route between Edinburgh and Linlithgow (the B9080, formerly the A9) having a crossroads with the route from Newbridge on the A89 to South Queensferry and beyond to Fife(the B800). The B800 is variously named Path Brae, High Street, Station Road and Queensferry Road as it passes through the village. The B9080 is named Main Street and Stirling Road as it passes through. It lies close to the Forth Road Bridge and Forth Rail Bridge and to Edinburgh Airport. It is just north of a northward loop on the River Almond.
Kirkliston originally appears in documents as Listona, Listun or Listone. The prefix "Kirk" attaches during the 14th century. The church appears to date from the late 12th century but may be later explaining the change in name of the village. Kirkliston was the location of the first recorded Parliament in Scottish history; the Estates of Scotland met there in 1235, during the reign of Alexander II of Scotland.
The village centres upon the medieval parish church which forms a landmark in the local landscape.
The oldest house in the village is Castle House which contains a marriage lintel dated 1683.
The village was largely a node within a surrounding agricultural area.
The eastern section of the Main Street was added as a toll road to Linlithgow around 1800 and buildings developed along it from that time.
The arrival of the railway in 1842 did not seem to change the village much in the way it changed other towns and villages. The line squeezed between the village and the river, on the south-east side of the High Street, with the station placed just off the east end of the High Street. As with many other rural lines this died in the cuts of 1966.
The war memorial was built to the men of the village lost in World War I on the NE corner of the main crossroads in 1920.
Until May 1975 Kirkliston was, for local government purposes, part of the old County of West Lothian. Under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 it then became part of Lothian Region and the City of Edinburgh District. Further local government reorganisation in 1996 saw the village become part of the City of Edinburgh Council area. The City of Edinburgh Council has a small office in the local library, as well as running the library, primary school and leisure centre.
Kirkliston used to be well known for its Drambuie liqueur factory but the factory re-located several years ago.[when?] There had also been a whisky distillery in the south of the village since 1795. In later years this became a malt factory. However, this too has now been demolished.
Due to its lack of industry Kirkliston may now be referred to as a dormitory village but this is largely by default rather than design.
In 1976 the extension to the runway at Edinburgh Airport disrupted the route from Edinburgh to the village, and started to isolate it. Further changes to the M8 and other major arterial routes in Central Scotland have served to further isolate the village and travel to the village from the city is now somewhat circuitous.
The oldest surviving building in Kirkliston is the Kirk, which the village is named after. Its elevated position raises it to a position of great prominence in the local topography. The mound it sits upon is partly natural and partly a burial mound upon which the church has been superimposed.
Parts of this building are over 800 years of age. Many details are rare examples of late 12th century "Norman Transitional" architecture The building was remodelled in 1883 by Robert Rowand Anderson a prominent Edinburgh architect. Originally belonging to the order of Knights Templar, the village was historically called Temple Liston. The manse dates from 1865.
The South Doorway is the most significant part of the building being an excellent example of a Romanesque style arched entrance, typical of the late 12th century, with multiple concentric geometric and sculpted forms in each curve. The projecting wing nearest the camera in the photo is the Stair Aisle, where members of the Dalrymple family, Earls of Stair, are interred. Rev. James Wemyss, M.A. was at Kirkliston from 1663 to 1688, at the time of the Bride of Lammermoor in February 1669. Her brother, John Dalrymple married Miss Dundas about that time when he may have acquired property at Kirkliston from Colin Campbell and built the Aisle.
Kirkliston Parish Church is a congregation of the Church of Scotland (within the Presbytery of Edinburgh). Kirkliston parish also includes Edinburgh Airport and the neighbouring community of Newbridge. The Reverend Margaret Lane became its minister in 2008, succeeding the Reverend Glenda Keating (1996-2008), who has now moved to the parishes of Craigie and Symington in Ayrshire.
The graveyard is of great antiquity. It contains the oldest dated stone in all the Lothian area - 1545 (distinguishing gravestones from memorials) Another interesting curiosity in the graveyard is the presence of a Gravestone dated 1727 that includes two carved heads wearing glasses. If the date on this headstone is accurate then this is the world's oldest depiction of glasses with sides.
The graveyard lies largely to the west of the church on sloping ground in a relatively unusual disposition relative to the church (historic churches normally having the bulk of the graveyard to the south) but this seems largely determined by the line of the road to the south and availability of land to the west allowing expansion. Unusually for villages or towns the much later Kirkliston Cemetery (begun in 1928) has squeezed into a site NE of the church on the site of the former manse and garden.
The Free Church dates from the Disruption of 1843. Having a tall stone spire (added by Hippolyte Blanc in 1880 it also has a commanding role in the local landscape and streetscape.
Kirkliston was designated a conservation area on 13 October 1977. The conservation area all lies south of the main crossroads and Main Street, the latter being over-altered to merit conservation area status.
It focuses on the Parish Church, The Square and the High Street but also stretches south down to encompass the remote manse and the little group of buildings at Breastmill (1672) also known as Priest Mill.
Its boundary on the now largely demolished distillery site makes little sense on the ground as the demolished site has the same value on either side of the boundary that splits it.
The boundary encompasses the River Almond as it passes the village leading to the net area of the Conservation Area being primarily open space rather than buildings.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2009)|
Kirkliston is often referred to with the nickname "Cheesetown". There are two principal theories for this. One suggestion is that it is due to an inscription mentioning cheese carved by Burns in a window of Castle House (the second oldest building, formerly an Inn). The most widely used explanation however is that when the Forth Bridge was being built, the workers who lodged in Kirkliston often had cheese sandwiches for lunch. However since the term seems largely to date from the late 20th century neither of these explanations holds much weight.
Until 1930, Kirkliston had its own railway station, built by the North British Railway. The station was located on a branch line from "Queensferry Junction" (near Ratho on the Edinburgh-Glasgow main line) to Dalmeny, which was opened in 1866. The line was extended from Dalmeny to Queensferry and Port Edgar a few years later.
Kirkliston Station was closed to passengers by the London and North Eastern Railway in 1930. Freight trains through Kirkliston ended in 1966 and the railway track was subsequently removed. There are still references to the station in the name of two streets. The old railway line has been converted into a cycle path.
5 km south-west of the village stands a small group of mill buildings dating from around 1600. A group of rubble-built cottages sited at right angles to mill were demolished in the 1960s reducing the size of the group.
Conversion to a house in 1971 by Morris and Steadman greatly reduced its historic significance and it is listed category C.
In the wood above Lin's Mill is the grave of William Lin reputed to be the last man in Scotland to die of the plague (but many similar plague graves exist from that year). The grave is marked by a slab with a crude coat of arms, memento mori and the inscription "Here lyeth the dust of William Lin right heritor of Linsmiln who died in the year of the lord 1645".
The nearby Union Canal aqueduct at Lin's Mill is listed separately.
- Buildings of Scotland; Lothian by Colin McWilliam
- unpublished leaflet by Stephen C. Dickson , Surveyor of Graveyards and Cemeteries for CEC, 1984e
- Optical Curiosities in Scotland collectorcafe.com