"('leper town'), a village and a parish of Edinburghshire. The village stands, 356 feet above sea-level, on the summit of a low broad-based ridge, 2 3/8 miles SSE of the centre of Edinburgh, and is sometimes distinguished as Liberton Kirk, from the fact that it contains the parish church. It is somewhat straggling in its arrangement, and besides the poorer class of cottages, includes some neat houses and elegant villas."

"Liberton parish is bounded N by St Cuthbert's and Duddingston, E by Inveresk and Newton, SE by Dalkeith, S by Lasswade, and W by Colinton. It extends from the Pow Burn at Edinburgh to within a mile of Dalkeith, and from the close vicinity of the Firth of Forth at Magdalene Bridge to near the E end of the Pentland range. Its greatest length from ENE to WSW is 5 ¾ miles; its greatest breadth is 4 ¼ miles; and its area is 6617 acres. The scenery of this parish is very beautifully diversified, though it never loses its lowland smiling character."

(Extract from Groomes Ordnance Gazetteer



A list of books and articles is available online.

  • Photographs of the village can be found in "Old Newington, Grange, Liberton & Gilmerton", published by Stenlake Publishing. (Out of print in Aug 2015).
  • Liberton In Ancient And Modern Times, George Good, Nabu Press, ISBN 1273591232. This is a modern reprint of a book first published around 1893.


The parish church has made available details of the names found on the gravestones in the church, with some accompanied by photos.


Church History

The parish church has some information available on their website.


Church Records

The parish church has records for births dating from 1624, for marriages from 1631 and for deaths from 1647. 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. Further information on church records, such as births & baptisms, marriages, deaths & burials, old parish registers,parish church and parish ministers (with a list of names) is available online.


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Liberton which are provided by:



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



Various maps for the parish are available online.

A facsimile of the 1896 area map has been republished - Liberton Dams 1896: Edinburgh Sheet 3.16 (Old O.S. Maps of Edinburgh), Alan Godfrey Maps, ISBN 0907554644.

The NLS provides an excellent tool, allowing old and modern maps to be superimposed on each other. This map shows the 1885-1900 Ordnance Survey 1-inch map.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NT284687 (Lat/Lon: 55.906337, -3.146879), Liberton which are provided by:


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.



A list of population statistics is available online.



Information on schoolmasters can be found online.



Information on statistics can be found online.

For a social and economic record of the parishes of East 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.



Information on the Hearth Taxand the Poll Tax can be found online.

Page Created by Margaret A. Mitchell