Dalmeny parish and village are sandwiched between Edinburgh and South Queensferry.Bisected from north to south and bypassed by major routes of communication;commuters driving from the Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh have few signs they are passing through the parish.
However their fellow rail travellers may stop infrequently at Dalmeny station, as they're approaching or leaving the iconic Forth Rail Bridge.
Yet this is not a new phenomenom. For centuries Scottish royalty and pilgrims heading for Dunfermline and St Andrews would head for Queensferry and the short crossing over the Firth of Forth to Fife. Situated in the county of West Lothian,the eastern parish and county boundary with Mid Lothian followed the course of the River Almond. Here the 16th century Cramond Brig carries the old road to Edinburgh,a convenient spot to start a circular walk through the parish and estate of Dalmeny.
From the Cramond Brig hotel walk through East Craigie Gate and follow the road that runs parallel to the river,eventually coming to a group of cottages and the former ferry crossing to Cramond. This used to be a popular walk from Cramond along the foreshore to South Queensferry through the Dalmeny estate,until the ferry ceased in 2000.
Dalmeny was originally called Dunmanyn (stony fort) and Gilbert Dumnanyn rendered homage in 1296.Dalmeny survives as a rare surname today. Along the foreshore to the west, Barnbougle Castle dominates the view.Now restored it was built by the Moubray family in the 13th century and purchased in 1662 by the Primrose family of Dunfermline and Carrington.
Archibald Primrose was created Viscount Primrose in 1700 and Earl of Rosebery in 1703. The family found Barnbougle unsuitable and in1817 built the Tudor Gothic,Dalmeny House. Here the 5th Earl of Rosebery and Liberal British Prime Minister held many political parties
A net work of footpaths give ample choice to either follow the coast to South Queensferry or exit the estate parkland at Dalmeny village.
A planned village,it is famed for the much older 12th century church.One of the best preserved Norman churches in Scotland it retains the familiar Romanesque arched door and windows.
In the mid 19th and early 20th centuries Dalmeny had numerous shale mines and the red bings were a familiar site from the roadside. The census returns record the increasing population of shale miners and builders constructing the Forth Rail Bridge.Contemporary newspapers report the all too frequent fatalities. The walk concludes back at the Cramond Brig,Dalmeny station or South Queensferry.
OS map 1:25000 Sheet 350
Holton,G (1980) Some Notes on the History of the Parish and Church of Dalmeny. Self published.
Old Parish Records
Kirk Session Records
Various Minutes and Accounts 1669–1677, 1691–1973
School Records 1792–1817, 1834–1860
Dalmeny Parish Links:
Family Search Dalmeny
Gazetteer of Scotland DalmenyParish
The Scottish War Memorials Project Dalmeny
Undiscovered Scotland Dalmeny Church
Undiscovered Scotland Dalmeny
Old and New Statistical Accounts Dalmeny Parish
Wikipedia Barnbougle Castle