"A Parish on the North East border of Edinburghshire, containing the villages of Cousland, Edgehead and Ford, the last being ½ mile West by North of Pathhead and 4¼ miles East South East of Dalkeith. Irregular in outline Cranston is bounded North West by Inveresk; North by Tranent; and East by Ormiston and Humbie, in Haddingtonshire; South West by Crichton and Borthwick; and West by Newbattle and Dalkeith."

(Extract from Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland 1885)



Monumental inscriptions for Cranston can be found at the Local Studies Centre in Loanhead.

Cranston Church contains a small war memorial plaque "in ever lasting memory of the men from Ford U.F. (United Free) Church who laid down their lives in the Great War 1914 - 1919".
The following 10 names are listed:
James Barbour, William Binnie, Andrew Durward, Alexander Fisher, Thomas Fisher, James Gardiner, David Gillies, Archibald McKinlay, David McKinlay, Edward Reid


Church Records

The parish church has records for births dating from 1682, for marriages from 1784 and for deaths from 1738. These are held in the General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh and copies on microfilm may be consulted in the Midlothian Studies Centre in Loanhead and also in LDS Family History Centres around the world.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Cranston which are provided by:



The transcription of the section for Cranston from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Cranston has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT390654 (Lat/Lon: 55.877544, -2.976316), Cranston which are provided by:


Military History

The Cranston war memorial lists the names of 30 people:

1914 - 1918

  • William Binnie
  • James Cowan
  • James Crawford
  • George Douglas
  • Alex Drysdale
  • Thomas Drysdale
  • George Duncan
  • James Gardiner
  • David Gillies
  • David Hadden
  • Andrew Hogarth
  • William Houston
  • Alexander Jeffrey
  • Thomas Kinghorn
  • Neil Simpson
  • George Philip
  • John A Todd
  • George Young

1939 - 1945

  • W Archibald Callander
  • Angus Hogarth
  • Thomas Hogg
  • T Campbell Hogg
  • Alexander Mercer
  • James Buchanan
  • T Elliot McVitie
  • Robert D Smith
  • Andrew Turner
  • James B Weir
  • James C Walker
  • Lucy Walker

Poor Houses, Poor Law

Following the Poor Law Act of 1843, the parish joined the Dalkeith Combination to provide poor relief in the Dalkeith Poorhouse.



According to Rev John Dickson's 1907 Parish History the population of the parish has varied thus:

Year Population Notes
1801 895  
1811 960  
1821 954  
1831 1030  
1841 1030  
1851 1235 "doubtless owing to the fact that the coal and limestone industries at Edgehead and Cousland were then at the height of their prosperity."
1861 1035  
1871 1036  
1881 998  
1891 863  
1901 846  




For a social and economic record of the parishes of Mid Lothian together with considerable statistical material, see Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland, which was compiled in the 1790s. Follow-up works to this were the New Statistical Account (also known as the Second Statistical Account) which was prepared in the 1830s and 1840s; and more recently the Third Statistical Account which has been prepared since the Second World War.

Thanks to a joint venture between the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh the First and Second Statistical Accounts can now be accessed on-line at The Statistical Accounts of Scotland, 1791-1799 and 1845.