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Dalmeny Kirk, one of the finest Norman churches in Scotland
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Location within Edinburgh
OS grid reference NT1477
Civil parish
  • Dalmeny
Council area
Lieutenancy area
  • City of Edinburgh [2]
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district EH30
Dialling code 0131
Police Scotland
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°58′59″N3°22′12″W / 55.983°N 3.370°W / 55.983; -3.370 Coordinates: 55°58′59″N3°22′12″W / 55.983°N 3.370°W / 55.983; -3.370

Dalmeny ( /dælˈmɛni/ ) is a village and parish in Scotland. It is located on the south side of the Firth of Forth, 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of South Queensferry and 8 miles (13 km) west of Edinburgh city centre. It lies within the traditional boundaries of West Lothian, and falls under the local governance of the City of Edinburgh Council.

Civil parishes are small divisions used for statistical purposes and formerly for local government in Scotland.

Scotland Country in Northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Firth of Forth Estuary or firth of Scotlands River Forth

The Firth of Forth is the estuary (firth) of several Scottish rivers including the River Forth. It meets the North Sea with Fife on the north coast and Lothian on the south. It was known as Bodotria in Roman times. In the Norse sagas it was known as the Myrkvifiörd. An early Welsh name is Merin Iodeo, or the "Sea of Iudeu".


Name history

The 13th century form of the name, Dunmanyn (later Dunmanie and then Damenie, hence the modern form), indicates that the first element is Britonnic din or Gaelic dun, a fort. A derivation from dun managh, "monk's fort", is unconvincing: there is no evidence to suggest there was ever a monastic settlement at Dalmeny. The name may rather be from din meyni, "stony fort", or din meyn an, "place of the stone fort", in reference to the ancient triple-walled fort that once stood on Craigie Hill in the east of the parish. [3]

The second element has also been connected with Manau, an ancient name for the lands adjoining the Forth, which would give a meaning of "fort of Manau" (compare Slamannan, "mount of Manau", and Clackmannan, "stone of Manau"). [4]

Manaw Gododdin

Manaw Gododdin was the narrow coastal region on the south side of the Firth of Forth, part of the Brythonic-speaking Kingdom of Gododdin in the post-Roman Era. It is notable as the homeland of Cunedda prior to his conquest of North Wales, and as the homeland of the heroic warriors in the literary epic Y Gododdin. Pressed by the Picts expanding southward and the Northumbrians expanding northward, it was permanently destroyed in the 7th century and its territory absorbed into the then-ascendant Kingdom of Northumbria.

Slamannan village in Falkirk, Scotland, UK

Slamannan is a village in the south of the Falkirk council area in Central Scotland. It is 4.6 miles (7.4 km) south-west of Falkirk, 6.0 miles (9.7 km) east of Cumbernauld and 7.1 miles (11.4 km) north-east of Airdrie.

Clackmannan town

Clackmannan, is a small town and civil parish set in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. Situated within the Forth Valley, Clackmannan is 1.8 miles (2.9 km) south-east of Alloa and 3.2 miles (5.1 km) south of Tillicoultry. The town is within the county of Clackmannanshire, of which it was formerly the county town, until Alloa overtook it in size and importance. According to a 2009 estimate the population of the settlement of Clackmannan is 3,348 residents.


The village has a primary school, which teaches about a hundred pupils, and a railway station near the south end of the Forth Bridge, which also serves the larger town of Queensferry.

Dalmeny railway station railway station serving Dalmeny, Scotland

Dalmeny railway station is a railway station serving the towns of Dalmeny and South Queensferry, about 8 miles (13 km) west of Edinburgh city centre. It is on the Fife Circle Line, located just south of the Forth Bridge.

Parish Church

The present church building was built around 1130, possibly by Gospatric, Earl of Dunbar,[ citation needed ] and is recognised as the finest Norman/Romanesque parish church still in use in Scotland, and one of the most complete in the United Kingdom, lacking only its original western tower, which was rebuilt in a sympathetic style in 1937. [5] The aisleless nave, choir and apse survive almost complete from the 12th century. The refined sculptural detail of the chancel and apse arches is notable, as is a series of powerful beast-head corbels supporting the apse vault. These features are also extremely well preserved, with the original tool-marks still visible. The elaborate south doorway is carved with symbols representing a bestiary and an "agnus dei", enlivened with blind arcading above. The door is comparable to the north door at Dunfermline Abbey. [5] Nearby is a rare 12th-century sarcophagus carved with 13 doll-like figures (possibly Christ and the 12 apostles) in niches (now very weathered). The churchyard also has a number of fine 17th- and 18th-century gravestones. [6] Interments in the churchyard include the advocate and historian John Hill Burton (1809–81).

Gospatric II was Earl of Lothian or Earl of Dunbar in the early 12th century.

Norman architecture sub-type of Romanesque architecture

The term Norman architecture is used to categorise styles of Romanesque architecture developed by the Normans in the various lands under their dominion or influence in the 11th and 12th centuries. In particular the term is traditionally used for English Romanesque architecture. The Normans introduced large numbers of castles and fortifications including Norman keeps, and at the same time monasteries, abbeys, churches and cathedrals, in a style characterised by the usual Romanesque rounded arches and especially massive proportions compared to other regional variations of the style.

The north (Rosebery) aisle dates from 1671 and was remodelled in the late 19th century. This has elaborate but "inaccurate" Neo-Norman details. [5] The church is a category A listed building. [6]


When viewed from a distance the church appears to rise on a mound above the local topography. It is speculated that it is built on a pre-Christian burial mound. [7] This would mean that the graveyard predates the church. A second detached mound of smaller size lies on the east road out of the village. This pre-dating is further evidenced by the 7th-century coffin stone near the door which appears to have been dug up during the 1937 restoration.

Besides the parish church, the most significant buildings are Dalmeny House and Barnbougle Castle, to the east of the village, home to the Earl of Rosebery. The most notable earl was Archibald, 5th Earl of Rosebery, who served as Prime Minister from 1894 to 1895 and is the grandfather of the present earl.

The village itself consists of early 19th-century cottages along the main street (built at the same time as Dalmeny House), with 20th-century housing to the south close to the A90. To the south of the A90 is the Dalmeny Tank Farm, a large oil-storage facility formerly operated by BP, but since 2018 by INEOS. The facility was constructed in the 1970s on a former oil shale mine, and is screened by a mound of the waste material from the mine. Oil is transferred from the site to tankers moored at the Hound Point Terminal in the Firth of Forth. [8]

Dalmeny, along with Queensferry, Kirkliston, Cammo, Cramond, Barnton, Silverknowes, Gogar, Hermiston, and Newbridge, forms the Almond electoral ward of the City of Edinburgh Council.

Notable people from Dalmeny

Related Research Articles

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Dalmeny House house in City of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Dalmeny House is a Gothic revival mansion located in an estate close to Dalmeny on the Firth of Forth, to the north-west of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was designed by William Wilkins, and completed in 1817. Dalmeny House is the home of the Earl and Countess of Rosebery. The house was the first in Scotland to be built in the Tudor Revival style. It provided more comfortable accommodation than the former ancestral residence, Barnbougle Castle, which still stands close by. Dalmeny today remains a private house, although it is open to the public during the summer months. The house is protected as a category A listed building, while the grounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.

Cramond village in City of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

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Barnbougle Castle castle in City of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

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  1. Brailsford 2017, Gaelic/English Station Index.
  2. "The Lord-Lieutenants (Scotland) Order 1996". Legislation.gov.uk. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  3. Harris, Stuart (2002). The Place-Names of Edinburgh. Glasgow: Steve Savage. ISBN   9781904246060.
  4. Rhys, John (1901). Celtic Folklore: Welsh and Manx. II. Oxford: the University Press. p. 550.
  5. 1 2 3 Buildings of Scotland: Lothian, by Colin McWilliam
  6. 1 2 Historic Environment Scotland. "Dalmeny Village, 20 Main Street, Dalmeny Kirk, St Cuthbert's, Church of Scotland, including churchyard  (Category A) (LB5570)" . Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  7. Investigation on pre-Christian influences on Christian architecture; dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 1983 (Stephen C. Dickson)
  8. "Dalmeny Tank Farm". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  9. "John Chesser". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 15 October 2013.