"RATHO, a parish in the county of Edinburgh, Scotland, 2½ miles S.E. of Kirkliston, and 8 S.W. of Edinburgh. It is a junction station on the Glasgow and Edinburgh railway. This parish, which formerly belonged to the princes of Scotland, is about 5 length by 2½ wide, and contains the post-office village of the same name, and the village of Bonnington, where was the ancient seat of the Wilkie family. The parish is bounded by Costorphine, Currie, Kirkliston, and Kirknewton. It is traversed by the Union canal, on the banks of which the village of Rathe stands, and is watered on the E. by the Gogar burn. The surface is undulating, and even hilly towards the southern boundary, where the two bold isolated heights of Dalmahoy and Kaimes Hill attain an elevation of 660 and 680 feet above sea-level. The prevailing rocks are trap, sandstone, and claystone, all of which are largely quarried; and coal is said to have been formerly worked near Bonnington. The soil is in general fertile, and the greater part is in tillage or arable; but there are considerable plantations and a little pasture. The higher grounds command views of the Lothians, the shores of the Frith of Forth, the Ochil Hills, and the frontier Grampians, with part of Fifeshire. The village, which is built on the declivity of a hill running down to the canal, consists of one street of cottages, built of stone and roofed with tiles or slate. It has recently been much extended and improved. The principal seats are Dalmahoy House, the residence of the Earl of Morton; Rathe House, a Grecian edifice; Hatton House, Bonnington House, Norton House, Millburn Tower (built by the late Sir R. Liston), and several others. The Edinburgh and Glasgow railway and the S. road from Edinburgh to Glasgow traverse the parish. The parish is in the presbytery of Edinburgh and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, in the patronage of trustees. The minister has a stipend of £306 0s. 11d. The church is an ancient cruciform structure, altered by modern improvements, and near it is a fountain called "Our Lady's" well. There is a free church for Rathe and Kirknewton; also a small public library and two non-parochial schools. Dr. William Wilkie, the eccentric author of the "Epigoniad", and sometimes called "the Scottish Homer", was once minister here." "BONNINGTON, a village in the parish of Ratho, in the county of Edinburgh, Scotland, 1½ mile W. of the village of Ratho, and 9 miles to the W. of Edinburgh. The Union canal passes near it. In the vicinity is Bennington House." "DALMAHOY, a hamlet in the parish of Ratho, county of Edinburgh, Scotland, 3 miles W. of Currie, near Dalmahoy Crags. It was formerly a prebend to Holyrood. Dalmahoy House is the seat of the Earl of Morton."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of
Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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