TORPHICHEN, West Lothian - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

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

"TORPHICHEN, a parish in the county of Linlithgow, Scotland. It comprises a village of its own name, and that of Blackridge. It extends in length about 10 miles from N.E. to S.W., with an extreme breadth of 2½ miles; and is bounded by the parishes of Linlithgow and Bathgate. The surface rises at Cairn Naple 1,498 feet above sea-level. There are whinstone, limestone, and sandstone quarries; and iron, stone, and coal have been partially worked. Silver-ore has been found in the limestone, but not in sufficient quantities to be profitably worked. There are a paper-mill, two meal-mills, and a woollen-mill.

The parish is traversed by the central road from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and by the road from Bathgate to Falkirk. The village is about 2½ miles N.W. of Bathgate, and 4¼ S.W. of Linlithgow, both of which are railway stations. It is situated on the river Avon, and on the road from Bathgate to Falkirk. It is of irregular form and of great antiquity. In its vicinity are a lake covering 22 acres, and the ruins of a preceptory of the Knights of St. John, founded by David I., which had the privilege of sanctuary, and was granted, with the title of baron, to Sandilands, the last preceptor.

There is a round camp on Boudane Hill, and there are Druid stones in the neighbourhood. This parish is in the presbytery of Linlithgow and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale. The stipend of the minister is about £163. The parish church was erected in 1756. There are also a Free church, two parochial libraries, and a parochial school; and at Blackridge, in this parish, a Free church preaching station, and a parochial school. The principal seats are Wallhouse and Lochcote."

"BLACKRIDGE, a village in the parish of Torphichen, in the county of Linlithgow, Scotland, 5 miles to the W. of Bathgate. It is seated near a small stream, a branch of the Blackburn river. There is a chapel of ease, and a preaching station belonging to the Free church."

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

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