ABERCORN, West Lothian - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"ABERCORN, a parish and district in the county of Linlithgow, Scotland, 5 miles N.E. of Linlithgow. It is situated on the south bank of the Frith of Forth, and is a station on the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway, and on the Union canal. The village and church of Abercorn, which is an old structure, are delightfully situated on an angular point, where two small rivulets unite about 100 yards before their junction with the Forth. Winchburgh is the nearest post town. Its greatest length E. and W. is about 4½ miles, and its greatest breadth is about 2½ miles.

The surface is exceedingly diversified, and eminently picturesque, especially along the seaboard, which is rich with wood, and surpassingly beautiful. The parish contains the villages of Newton and Philpstown. It is said that a Pictish diocese was established here at the end of the 7th century, mentioned by the Venerable Bede. A monastery, one of the most ancient in Scotland, was founded here, in 1140, by David I. The castle, which belonged to the family of the Douglases, was built on the site of a Roman fort, and was destroyed in 1455 during the rebellion of the Earl of Douglas, but no remains now exist, either of the monastery or the castle.

The country is fertile and well wooded. Coal is obtained, together with limestone, ironstone, and a useful building-stone. The Earl of Hopetoun, chief heritor, is the patron of the living, value £189, in the presbytery of Linlithgow. Hopetoun House, the seat of the Earl, is a noble mansion, situated on the brow of a hill, commanding a prospect over the Forth; 3 miles from Queensferry, and 12 from Edinburgh. George IV. on the occasion of his visit to Scotland, was entertained here. The parish gives the British title of Marquis, and the Scotch title of Earl, to the Hamiltons of Duddingstone."

"MIDHOPE, an ancient mansion on the N.W. border of the parish of Abercorn, county Linlithgow, Scotland. It was formerly the seat of the earls of Linlithgow."

"NEWTON, a village in the parish of Abercorn, county Linlithgow, Scotland, 6 miles E. of Linlithgow."

"PHILPSTOWN, a village in the parish of Abercorn, county Linlithgow, Scotland, 4 miles E. of Linlithgow. It is situated on the line of the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway."

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

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