Lothian

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MIDLOTHIANothian - former region which was replaced by East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, and City of Edinburgh unitary authorities. The new unitary authorities were formerly the four districts of Lothian region (1975-96), which were previously counties in their own right.

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Local Links East Lothian - Midlothian Council - West Lothian - City of Edinburgh Council

Back to topEast Lothian

owns and cities Haddington (administrative headquarters), North Berwick, Dunbar
rea 677 sq km/261 sq mi
opulation (1995) 87,600
opography Bass RockAn area of contrasts, with coastal plains of cliffs, beaches and estuarine marines, broad river valley of the Tyne, gentle slopes of the Lammermuir Hills and volcanic outcrops - Bass Rock and Traprain Law.

Bass rock rises a sheer 350 ft straight from the sea and it's only human inhabitants are the lighthouse keepers.

ommerce Industries: whisky distilling, agricultural-based Agriculture: arable farming on plains It is an affluent area with a mixed economy. The western towns are within the Edinburgh commuter belt, with agricultural economies to the south, and tourist-based and service sector enterprise by the coast.
amous people  
ttractions Traprain Law (221 m/725 ft), a hill of volcanic origin near East Linton, had the most important native stronghold site of the Iron Age in Scotland. A hoard of 4th-century Roman silver coins was found here in 1919 (now in Edinburgh's Museum of Antiquities). Tantallon Castle; Muirfield golf course; Traprain Law fort   There are 21 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, one Special Protection Area, and one country park.

Back to topMidlothian

owns and cities Dalkeith (administrative headquarters), Penicuik, Bonnyrigg
rea 363 sq km/140 sq mi
opulation (1995) 79,900
opography inland area rising toward the Moorfoot Hills in the south; river Esk
ommerce Industries: glass and crystal, coal-mining (declining), light manufacturing, food processing
Agriculture: productive agriculturally to the north (arable and dairy), less productive and intensive toward the hills in the south
amous people  
ttractions Crichton Castle, Roslin Castle, Rosslyn Chapel, There are 14 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, two Ramsars (wetland sites), one regional park, and three country parks.  Crichton Castle, now in ruins, is on the Tyne, 19 km/12 mi east of Edinburgh. The 14th-century tower house, mentioned by Walter Scott in his story Marmion (1808), was rebuilt in 1585 in Italianate style by Francis Stuart, 5th Earl of Bothwell. The 15th-century chapel at Roslin, built by William Sinclair, has intricate stone carvings and sculptures, including the allegorical `Dance of Death´, and the Late Gothic `Prentice Pilar´  The Scottish Mining Museum at Lady Victoria Colliery near Newtongrange, was a working mine from 1890 until its closure in 1981. It contains the `Grant-Richie´ winding engine which could lift coal from almost 500 m/1,640 ft below the surface

Back to topWest Lothian

owns and cities Bathgate, Linlithgow, Livingston (administrative headquarters)
rea 428 sq km/165 sq mi
opulation (1995) 149,500
opography low-lying, undulating area through which the river Almond flows; Cairnpapple Hill
ommerce Industries: electronics, engineering, coal-mining, food processing
Agriculture: productive area of arable farming  The area has a buoyant economy with the expansion of the development of the electronics industry.
amous people  
ttractions LinlithgowLinlithgow, where Mary, Queen of Scots, was born in 1542 
prehistoric ritual site at Cairnpapple Hill, near Torpichen   There are 17 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, one National Nature Reserve, one regional park, and three country parks.

Back to topEdinburgh

owns and cities forth.jpg (5604 bytes)Capital of Scotland and a unitary authority, located near the southern shores of the Firth of Forth. Queensferry, once the place where ferries plied the Forth, now overshadowed by the two Forth Bridges, the symbol of Scotland, the spectacular 1890 rail bridge and the 1964 road crossing.
rea 263 sq km/122 sq mi
opulation (1995) 447,600
opography Three eminences which run from east to west form the site of the city, which is surrounded on all sides, except the north, by hills. The steep ridge descending from the castle rock to the Netherbow Port (an old city gateway) constituted the ancient city, and on it the High Street is built. To the north of this ridge was formerly the North Loch. The new town lies on the ground which rises beyond the valley of the North Loch, and its wide streets and stately houses stretch down towards the Firth of Forth.
ommerce Industries: printing, publishing, banking, insurance, chemical manufacture, electronics, distilling, brewing
The most important industries of Edinburgh are brewing, whisky distilling (for which it has been noted for more than 200 years), electronics, and printing and publishing, with the connected industries of paper-making, bookbinding, and map-making. The city is also the centre of considerable banking, finance, and insurance expertise. The Edinburgh airport is at Turnhouse.
amous people  
ttractions edin.jpg (6932 bytes)Edinburgh who's influence spreads well beyond the city limits, includes the magnificent Castle and surrounding scenery of Arthur's seat, Edinburgh's town centre mountain ! Water of Leith, Salisbury Crags, Arthur's Seat Edinburgh Castle contains St Margaret's chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh, dating from the 12th century. The palace of Holyrood House was built in the 15th and 16th centuries on the site of a 12th-century abbey; it is the British sovereign's official Scottish residence.
Edinburgh is to be the site of the Scottish Assembly, a nation-region tier of Government in the UK, with tax-varying powers; a new building is to be built on the east side of the city centre to house the administrative offices of the Assembly. The Parliament House, begun in 1632, is now the seat of the supreme courts. Edinburgh is a cultural centre and hosts the Edinburgh Festival , an international arts festival, with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival taking place alongside, in August-September each year. The Royal Scottish Academy and the National Gallery of Scotland (renovated in 1989) in Classical style are by William Henry Playfair (1789-1857). Edinburgh's principal church, St Giles, was consecrated in 1243 and became a cathedral in 1633. The episcopal cathedral of St Mary, opened in 1879, in the New Town area. The Royal Observatory has been at Blackford Hill since 1896. The principal thoroughfares are Princes Street and the Royal Mile.
edin2.jpg (7820 bytes)The city has three universities : the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University and Napier University.
There is evidence of Bronze and Iron Age occupation of Castle Rock, and in Roman times the site was occupied by Celtic peoples; in about 617 the site was captured by Edwin of the Angles of Northumbria; the city took its name from the fortress of Din Eidin which he built. Robert the Bruce, having made Edinburgh the capital in 1325, made Edinburgh a burgh in 1329, and established its port at Leith. In 1544 and 1547 the town was destroyed by the English. After the union with England in 1707, Edinburgh lost its political importance but remained culturally pre-eminent. During the 18th century, Edinburgh was known as the `Athens of the North´ because of its concentration of intellectual talent, for example, Adam Smith, David Hume, and Joseph Black.
Calton Hill is the eastern extremity of Princes Street. It is a rocky eminence studded with monuments, including the unfinished National Monument. The view northwards from Calton Hill includes Leith, the Firth of Forth and the hills of Fife. Salisbury Crags, a huge belt of precipitous rock nearly 177 m/581 ft high, rises beyond the eastern edge of the city centre; behind this is Arthur's Seat, a conical hill 251 m/823.5 ft high, with a narrow rocky summit. Queen Street contains the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland and Museum of Antiquities
The High Street opens into Parliament Close or Square, 450 m/500 yds downhill from Edinburgh Castle. The Square contains the old Parliament House (1632-40) and St Giles' Cathedral, built in the later Gothic style, and renovated between 1772 and 1883. The anicent Market Cross of Edinburgh was removed in 1756, and in 1885 Gladstone presented the city with a replacement cross which now stands near the eastern end of the church. John Knox's grave is believed to be in Parliament Square, to the rear of St Giles; a house in which he lived lies further down the Royal Mile.
The Palace of Holyrood House, standing at the lower end of the Royal Mile, was begun by James IV, whilst the greater portion of it was built in the time of Charles II. The apartments occupied by Mary Queen of Scots are in the northwest angle of the building. The ruins of the chapel belonging to the Abbey of Holyrood, founded by David I in 1128, adjoin the chapel of Holyrood Palace on the north side.
A notable annual event in the cultural life of the United Kingdom is the Edinburgh International Festival, which includes music, drama, opera, and art exhibitions. It was founded in 1947 by Rudolph Bing and has been held annually ever since, in August-September. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival provides a showcase for amateur groups and new talent. The Military Tattoo is held a few days before the Festival on the Esplanade in front of the castle.