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NEWBATTLE - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
"NEWBATTLE, (or Newbotle), a parish in the county of Edinburgh, Scotland. It comprises the village of its own name, also the villages of Stobhill, Easthouses, and Newton Grange. It extends in length 4 miles from W. to E., and about the same in breadth. It is bounded by the parishes of Lasswade, Dalkeith, Cranston, Cockpen, and Borthwick. The greater part lies in a vale, through which the river South Esk flows. From the low grounds the surface rises, in a gradual manner, for the course of 2 miles, to a ridge of hills, the greatest altitude of which is at the Roman camp, which is 680 feet above sea-level.

A large portion of the land is in excellent cultivation, and the soil is generally rich and fertile, being in some places upwards of 4 feet deep, except in the upper district, where the soil is marshy and muiry upon a cold till. It is abundant in orchards and gardens. The district is also productive of good coal, lime, and sandstone.

The tram railway, 4 mile in length, and in connection with the Edinburgh railway at Dalhousie Mains, has since been superseded by the Hawick branch of the North British railway, which crosses the Esk valley a short distance from where the old viaduct stood. The mineral wealth of this flourishing district has become of late years equal to any in the kingdom of the same proportion. There are a paper-mill, two corn-mills, and a flour-mill. The north-eastern portion of the parish is intersected by the road from Edinburgh to Kelso by way of Lauder.

The decayed village of Newbattle is about half a mile S. of Dalkeith. It is situated on the river South Esk, and in the lower grounds of the Esk vale. The present parish includes the small parish of Maisterton, which lies to the W., and was united to it at the time of the Reformation. Newbattle had a Cistercian abbey, founded by David I. in 1140 as a cell to Melrose, and richly endowed by him and by Malcolm IV., William the Lion, and Alexander II. It was burnt by Richard II. of England, and after the Dissolution the abbey church became the parish church. The estate, which came to the Kers, was made a lordship in 1591, and an earldom in 1606. The Marquis of Lothian now enjoys these extensive possessions.

This parish is in the presbytery of Dalkeith, and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale. The minister has a stipend of £183. The parish church was erected in 1727. There are a chapel-of-ease, Free Church preaching station, also parochial schools, and schools at Stobhill. Newbattle Abbey, a large modern mansion, the seat of the Marquis of Lothian, was erected out of the old monastery, and is situated in the midst of a lawn 30 acres in extent. It has a gallery of choice paintings, also some curious illuminated MSS. written upon vellum, in the Norman character. The park is well wooded, and contains some ancient trees, one of which is a beech 19 feet in girth.

In the vicinity are several subterraneous chambers cut out of the solid rock, which are thought to have been the retreat of the ancient inhabitants in time of war. Three-fourths of the parish belong to the Marquis of Lothian.

"EAST HOUSES, a village in the parish of Newbattle, county Edinburgh, Scotland, 2 miles S.E. of Dalkeith. The villagers are chiefly employed in the collieries."

"MAISTERTON, a parish now annexed to Newbattle, county Edinburgh, Scotland."

"NEWTON-GRANGE, a village in the parish of Newbattle, county Edinburgh, Scotland, 2 miles S.E. of Dalkeith. It is of recent formation, and is situated near the river South Esk. It is the largest village in the parish. There are boys', girls, and infant schools, erected at the expense of the Marquis of Lothian. A large portion of the inhabitants are engaged in the collieries, which are rapidly increasing in productiveness."

"STOBHILL, a village in the parish of Newbattle and Temple, county Edinburgh, Scotland, 4 miles S. of Dalkeith. There is a Free Church preaching station."

"WESTHOUSES, a quondam village in the parish of Newbattle, county Edinburgh, Scotland. It has been recently pulled down."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


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