Blackburn, West Lothian

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Scottish Gaelic: An Dubh Allt
Blackburn - - 167034.jpg
Looking west from the centre of the town
Blackburn is located in West Lothian
 Blackburn shown within West Lothian
Population 4,761 (2001 census)[1]
4,970 (2006 estimate)[2]
OS grid reference NS985655
Civil parish Livingston
Council area West Lothian
Lieutenancy area West Lothian
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BATHGATE
Postcode district EH47
Dialling code 01506
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Livingston
Scottish Parliament Linlithgow
List of places

Coordinates: 55°52′19″N 3°37′16″W / 55.872°N 3.621°W / 55.872; -3.621

Blackburn (Scottish Gaelic: An Dubh Allt[3]) is a town[4] in West Lothian, Scotland local to both Bathgate and Livingston, two of the larger towns in the county. It is situated approximately 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of Edinburgh and 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Glasgow on the old A8 road.


Blackburn means "the black stream", from the Old English blæc "black" and burna "stream". The name was recorded as Blachebrine in 1152. As a small industrial centre, Blackburn originally developed as a cotton-manufacturing town. In the mid-19th century, it became a centre for coal mining.

Its small population expanded rapidly from 4,302 in 1961 to around 9,000 by 1965 as a result of employment opportunities in Bathgate to the north and through in-migration following the inception of the Glasgow Overspill Plan.

The closure of the British Leyland plant in 1986 brought decline to the area, along with the destruction of many homes built during the 1960s.

The Highlander Crisps factory was originally based in Blackburn until the M8 motorway was constructed beginning in 1965; it is now based in Whitehill Industrial Estate, Bathgate, with the motorway being the reason for the split.

The railway station at Bathgate reopened in 1986 and the 30-minute journey to Edinburgh attracts commuters to live in Blackburn.


Blackburn and Seafield Parish Church (Church of Scotland) is located in Blackburn, with the Rev. Dr. Robert Anderson serving as its minister since 1998. The congregation celebrated its centenary in 2008. Blackburn Gospel Hall (Christian Brethren) meets for worship services and Bible studies in a well-kept church building originally constructed as Blackburn's village school in the late 18th century. Our Lady of Lourdes, a Roman Catholic church located in Blackburn, also serves neighbouring communities and partners with a branch of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Educational facilities[edit]

The village is well known for St. Kentigern's Academy (commonly called St. Kent's), which is a large secondary school that attracts students from the surrounding areas of West Lothian.

Another catchment is Bathgate Academy, which is 2 miles (3 km) away from Blackburn.

The village also houses three primary schools: Murrayfield Primary, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, Blackburn Primary, and a combination primary/secondary special school called Pinewood School.

Blackburn Academy was a non-denominational secondary school; it closed in 1992.



Blackburn is home to the Junior Football (adult, semi-professional) Club Blackburn United who play at New Murrayfield Park near the centre of the town. The Club forms the pinnacle of the Blackburn United Community Football Club.


Blackburn is a big part of Scotia TaeKwonDo, where competitions are held in the local community center. Classes are also a big part of the area.

Famous natives[edit]

In British political culture[edit]

The town was notably mentioned in a famous speech by MP Tam Dalyell in the House of Commons on 14 November 1977 in which he posed what would become known as the West Lothian question.


  1. ^ "Comparative Population Profile: Blackburn Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 2001-04-29. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ An Stòr-dàta Briathrachais [1], retrieved 9 June 2010
  4. ^ Blackburn - VisitScotland

External links[edit]