Page 13

Kirknewton, West Lothian Community Profile The history of Kirknewton Kirknewton is a village located in West Lothian. It lies south of the A71 from Edinburgh to Livingston, and north of the A70, the high-level road that runs along the north side of the Pentland Hills from Edinburgh to Carnwath and Lanark. Kirknewton's Main Street has a very enclosed feel. Stretching from the junction with the B7031 to the old kirkyard in the centre of the village, it consists of a collection of one and two storey buildings. The kirkyard itself is home to a number of headstones dating back to the 18th century, and a burial enclosure for the Campbell Maconachies of Meadowbank House that dates back to 1662. The other burial enclosure was constructed by the Royal Society of Physicians as a memorial for an important founding member, William Cullen. Professor Cullen was a significant figure in 18th century medicine, chemistry, agriculture and practiced the application of science to agriculture at a nearby farm acquired by him in the 1870s. The earliest signs of settlement in the area are the remains of Iron Age forts on Kaimes Hill and Dalmahoy Hill, craggy summits about a mile east of Kirknewton. In slightly more recent times, Kirknewton House, which lies just to the south of the village, had its origins (as Meadowbank House) in the 17th century. The current house is a reworking of the original by the architect William Playfair for Alexander Maconochie, Lord Meadowbank in 1835. Kirknewton stood at the south eastern corner of the large area of West Lothian which was transformed from the 1860s by the oil shale industry, with the nearest shale mine lying just to the north west of the village, between it and East Calder. Shale from here was taken to the huge oil shale works at Pumpherston for processing. During World War II, the Royal Air Force built a military airfield at Whitemoss, a mile south east of Kirknewton. RAF Kirknewton, as it was known, was home to a variety of units during the war and, like many other military airfields, fell quiet afterwards. In 1952, it became home to a number of small United States Air Force units tasked with providing mobile radio facilities to the USAF in Britain. The USAF left in 1966, and today Kirknewton airfield is home to a RAF(V) Gliding Unit. Between 1973 and 1985 the airfield and associated barracks and family housing were occupied on a two year rotation by the reserve battalion for Northern Ireland, generally one of those Regiments, now amalgamated into the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Of all those external influences, none has been more dramatic than the Kaimes landfill, which for 15 years handled much of Edinburgh’s waste in an unregulated manner, causing great nuisance – noise, dust, flies and rats – to the villagers. Local people, through the Community Council, fought a long campaign which ended up with an acknowledgement that the tip was illegal and a compensation payment of £300,000.

13

Profile for Tony Foster

Kirknewton Community Development Plan 2012-2014  

To engage everyone who lives and works in Kirknewton and be an inclusive and vibrant community that invests in the future of the village.

Kirknewton Community Development Plan 2012-2014  

To engage everyone who lives and works in Kirknewton and be an inclusive and vibrant community that invests in the future of the village.

Advertisement