Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Dalmeny: A West Lothian Parish

The parish of Dalmeny sandwiched between Edinburgh and South Queensferry many speed through by road and rail to the Forth bridges. The eastern parish and county boundary is the River Almond where the river is crossed by the 16th century Cramond Brig.

Following the river down stream to where it enters the Firth of Forth crosses through the Dalmeny estate.Originally called Dunmanyn (stony fort) a Gilbert Dumnanyn rendered homage in 1296 though  few of the Dalmeny surname survive today. Along the foreshore the restored Barnbougle Castle dominates the view upstream.Now restored it was built by the Moubray family in the 13th century and purchased in 1662 by the Primrose family of Dunfermline and Carrington.

Archibald Primrose was created Viscount Primrose in 1700 and Earl of Rosebery in 1703. The family found Barnbougle unsuitable and in1817 built the Tudor Gothic Dalmeny House. Here the 5th Earl of Rosebery and Liberal British Prime Minister held many political parties.

Within the planned village of Dalmeny is its famous 12th century church.

One of the best preserved Norman churches in Scotland it retains the familiar Romanesque arched door and windows.

There are many fine old memorials in the graveyard depicting  mortality and the last resting place of

 John Hill Burton (1809-1881) Historiographer Royal and biographer of David Hume.

In the mid 19th and early 20th centuries Dalmeny had numerous shale mines and the red bings were a familiar site from the roadside. The census returns and local newspapers refer to the increasing population of miners and builders with the associated  fatalities in the mines and during the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge.A short walk through the parish is rewarded with a visit to the Cramond Brig restaurant.


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