Balerno (//; Scottish Gaelic: Baile Àirneach) is a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland situated 8 miles south-west of the city centre, next to Currie and then Juniper Green. Administratively, Balerno falls within the jurisdiction of the City of Edinburgh Council.
- 1 History
- 2 Education
- 3 Culture and attractions
- 4 Transport
- 5 Famous residents and Balerno High School alumni
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The 18th Century brought substantial development to the area, with many new flax, snuff and paper mills springing up around the Water of Leith and its tributary, the Bavelaw Burn (evidence of flax production can be seen in Harlaw Woods). The largest of these mills, Balerno Bank Paper Mill located near the centre of the old village closed in the early 1980s. After the First World War house building began in earnest in the area and since then residential pressures have almost overwhelmed commercial and industrial ones. There was a short loop railway running over what is now the Water of Leith Walkway.
Culture and attractions
Balerno is home to Currie RFC, who play at Malleny Park. Currie won the Scottish Rugby Union Scottish Premiership Division One in 2007 and 2010. Balerno Bowling Club situated in the heart of the village dates back to 1885, plays lawn bowls in the Water of Leith league, Edinburgh & Leith Bowling Association.
Malleny House & Gardens
The 17th century Malleny House and its surrounding gardens are owned by the National Trust for Scotland. While the house is not open to the public the gardens are and consist of a 3-acre (12,000 m2) walled garden set in approximately nine acres of woodland. The gardens feature four 100-year-old yew trees known as the Four Apostles and was home to Scotland’s National Bonsai Collection, which left around 2000 and is now located at Binny Plants near Ecclesmachan.
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals operates an Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Mansfield. The SSPCA opened the centre in 1930 as a Rest Farm for working horses. The centre cares for and rehomes thousands of neglected and mistreated animals every year.
Balerno has two churches: St. Mungo's Church (Scottish Episcopal Church) and Balerno Parish Church (Church of Scotland). St Joseph's Catholic Church closed in August 2006, with the building purchased by Balerno Parish Church and renamed "The St Joseph's Centre".
Balerno Village Screen
2013 saw the launch of Balerno Village Screen - a community cinema project with free admission and funded by donations. The screenings are shown monthly on the first Saturday of every month in the Ogston Hall and the St Joseph's Centre. So far around 400 villagers have turned out per screening to watch the films.
2008 saw the launch of Balerno's music festival with events held at Balerno Parish Church, Balerno Bowling Club, Balerno Parish Church New Hall, the Grey Horse Inn and the St Joseph's Centre.
Red Moss Wildlife Reserve
Red Moss is one of only four raised bogs of sphagnum moss surviving in the Lothians and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is currently managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
The Currie and Balerno News is Balerno's community newspaper which also includes coverage of nearby Currie, Baberton and Juniper Green. Published monthly the paper features local news, a monthly police neighbourhood watch update, an SSPCA appeal, school news and coverage of local planning applications and developments.
- See also Transport in Edinburgh
The Caledonian Railway built the Balerno line, a spur line from Slateford, via Colinton, which connected Balerno railway station to the centre of Edinburgh. The line saw an upsurge in housebuilding in Balerno. The last passenger train to run on the line was in 1943, and a High School was placed on the site of the goods station in 1983. The line runs adjacent to the Water of Leith river.
The A70 runs near the village. The village is serviced by the 44 bus route, which is operated by Lothian Buses. The route connects Balerno to Currie, Slateford, the City Centre, Brunstane and East Lothian. The village was also served by the E&M Horsburgh service 24 bus route, which connected it to Juniper Green in one direction and East Calder and Livingston, but this has been terminated.
Famous residents and Balerno High School alumni
- Neil Alexander - Scottish footballer (goalkeeper)
- Craig Gordon - Scottish footballer (goalkeeper)
- Graham Moodie - Scottish field hockey player
- Peter Heatly - Scottish diver and ex-Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation
- Nina Nesbitt - Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist
- Boards of Canada- brothers Marcus and Michael Sandison, musicians
- Keith McIvor aka JD Twitch - DJ, part of Optimo duo 
- Christ. (musician) - formerly part of Hexagon Sun Collective with Boards of Canada
- Michael Deacon (journalist) - political sketch writer for Daily Telegraph
- Chris Grassick - Scotland and Great Britain field hockey player
- Paul Research and John Mackie (brothers), musicians and founders of the post-punk band The Scars rehearsed and first performed at Balerno Scout Hall.
- Laura Maciver - BBC Scotland Journalist and presenter
- Andrew Wilson (economist) - Economist and former MSP
- Bòrd na Gàidhlig - History of Gaelic Archived 11 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Balerno Parish Church - The St Josephs' Centre
- Balerno Village Screen
- Best of Balerno Music Festival
- Currie and Balerno News
- "Scars: Edinburgh teens who became post-punk heroes". Retrieved 7 August 2018.