FALA - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868
The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"FALA, a parish and post village in county Edinburgh, and partly in county Haddington, Scotland, 15 miles S.E. of Edinburgh, lying on the northern declivity of the Lammermuir hills. The parish of Soutra was united to it early in the 17th century. The united parishes extend 7 miles in length by 3 in breadth, Fala being in Mid-Lothian and Soutra in East. The soil is for the most part good; nearly a half of it is in a good state of cultivation. The parish church, now in the course of erection, will be a very handsome edifice in the Gothic style, and stands in the village of Fala, 800 feet above the level of the sea, and at a distance of 14½ miles from Edinburgh.
Of Fala parish the Earl of Stair is the sole heritor. From the circumstance of the endowments of Soutra, which was an ancient hospice, having been alienated by Mary of Gueldres to Trinity College Church, Edinburgh, the town council of Edinburgh were till a late period joint patrons. The stipend of the minister from both parishes, together with an allowance of £93 from the exchequer, varies from £160 to £197. Besides a glebe of the statutory amount of 4 acres in each parish, he has pasturage for one horse, two cows, and twenty sheep. There is also an United Presbyterian church in the village.
Of Soutra village the only trace now is the aisle of the old hospice. At one time it was a place of considerable size and importance, but upon the alienation of the lands it rapidly went down. Traces of a way called the "Girthgate" are still visible, that led to the hospital from the Tweed valley. In the immediate vicinity is a medicinal well that was at one time much resorted to. The family of Pringle long held a grant of land here for rendering assistance to James V. The bell of the hospice, it is believed, is still in use at the parish church, though not now, as of old, as the inscription on it bears - "To eat, sleep, and pray, I do call; good people of Brothick, God bless you all" - the parishes being at one time church lands of Alur-brothick or Arbroath."
"BLACKSHIELS, a village in the parish of Fala, in the county of Edinburgh, Scotland, not far from Fala."
"FALADAM, a village in the parishes of Fala and Crichton, county Edinburgh, Scotland, 1 mile W. of Fala. It is situated on the Cake Moor, and the road from Edinburgh to Lauder."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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