Cockpen  Midlothian


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Cockpen like this:

Cockpen, a parish in the E of Edinburghshire, containing at its NW corner the village of Bonnyrigg (2 miles SW of Dalkeith), and also the villages or hamlets of Hunterfield, Poltonhall, Prestonholm, and Westhall, with part of Lasswade. It is bounded W and N by Lasswade, NE and E by Newbattle, and S by Carrington. ...

Its greatest length, from NW to SE, is 3½ miles; its greatest breadth is 2½ miles; and its area is 2950 acres. The South Esk, entering the parish from the S, intersects it for nearly 1½ mile; traces afterwards part of its boundary with Newbattle, receiving there Dalhousie Burn; and the North Esk flows, for a brief distance, along the Lasswade border. The land-surface is flattish, though rising southward from less than 200 to over 400 feet above sea-level; it exhibits everywhere a rich and highly-cultivated aspect, and along the banks of the streams is often singularly picturesque. The rocks are chiefly of the Carboniferous formation. Coal is worked; sandstone and limestone abound; and copperas has been obtained from a species of moss. The soil over a small part of the northern district is a very fine rich loam, on a sandy or gravelly bottom; and elsewhere is generally a stiffish clay. Cockpen House, the mansion of the 'Laird of Cockpen' of Lady Nairne's famous song, stood on a romantic spot about a furlong E of Dalhousie Castle. Dalhousie Castle and Hillhead House, the former centring round it most of the interest of Cockpen's history, are the principal mansions; and 5 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 8 of between £100 and £500,23 of from £50 to £100, and 33 of from £20 to £50. Giving off part of its civil area to Stobhill quoad sacra parish, Cockpen is in the presbytery of Dalkeith and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £180. The parish church (1820; 625 sittings), on rising ground above the left bank of Dalhousie Burn, 1 mile SE of Bonnyrigg and 1 SSW of Dalhousie station, is a cruciform Perpendicular edifice, with a conspicuous tower; in its churchyard lie several members of the Dalhousie family. Within the castle grounds are remains of the old First Pointed parish church. Bonnyrigg has a Free church; and Cockpen public, Bonnyrigg public, and Bonnyrigg girls' schools, with respective accommodation for 126, 205, and 237 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 80,188, and 213, and grants of £66,18s., £154,11s., and £179. Valuation (1882) £20,842, including £1678 for railways. Pop. of q. s. parish (1871) 2481, (1881) 3432; of civil parish (1801) 1681, (1831) 2025, (1851) 3228, (1861) 2902, (1871) 3346, (1881) 4545.—Ord. Sur., sh. 32,1857. See Peter Mitchell's Parish of Cockpen in the Olden Times (Dalkeith, 1881).

Cockpen through time

Cockpen is now part of Midlothian district. Click here for graphs and data of how Midlothian has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Cockpen itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Cockpen in Midlothian | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 14th June 2024

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