Fala  West Lothian


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

Fala and Soutra, a united parish of Edinburgh and Haddington shires, containing in its Fala or Midlothian portion the village of Fala, whose post office is Blackshiels, and which stands 3½ miles SE of Pathhead, 15½ SE of Edinburgh, and 3¾ ENE of Tynehead station. The parish, containing also part of the hamlet of Fala Dam, ¾ mile to the NW, is bounded NE by Humbie, SE by Channelkirk in Berwickshire, S by Stow, SW by Heriot, W by detached sections of Stow, Borthwick, Cranston, and Humbie, and NW by Crichton. ...

Its utmost length, from NNE to SSW, is 5 miles; its breadth, from WNW to ESE, varies between 1 mile and 3 /8 miles; and its area is 6066¾ acres, of which 3126½ belong to the Edinburghshire or Fala portion, and 2940¼ to the Haddingtonshire or Soutra portion. By Brothershiels Burn, Dean Burn, and East Water, Fala is parted from Soutra; and Armit Water runs south-south-westward towards the Gala along most of the Channelkirk border. In the extreme N the surface Declines to 600 feet above sea-level, thence rising to 819 near Fala village, 1209 at Soutra Hill, and 1250 at Upper Brotherstone. The whole is upland, then; but the northern section, comprising somewhat less than half of the entire area, is gently undulating, fertile, and well cultivated, whilst the southern mainly consists of the westernmost part of the Lammermuirs, and, with the exception of a few arable patches, is all of it one great sheep-walk. The rocks are mainly Silurian; and the soil in general is thin and gravelly. A large moss, Fala Flow, 1¾ mile SSW of the village, has been considerably reduced by draining since 1842, but still supplies great quantities of peat. Peel towers stood at Fala Hall and Gilston; but the chief antiquity, an ancient hospice, is separately noticed under Soutra. A mansion is Woodcot, 1¾ mile E by S of the village; and 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, 2 of less, than £500. This parish is in the presbytery of Dalkeith and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £233. The church, at the village, is a plain old building, containing 250 sittings. There is also a U.P. church (1787; 250 sittings); and a public school, with accommodation for 80 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 64, and a grant of £64, 2s. 8d. Valuation (1882) £2697, 18s. Pop. (1801) 354, (1831) 437, (1861) 382, (1871) 364, (1881) 312, of whom 111 were in Soutra.—Ord. Sur., shs. 33, 25, 1863-65.

Fala through time

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

How to reference this page:

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


Date accessed: 17th June 2024

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