West Lothian Attractions

Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle was built in 1445 for the Crichton family one of Scotland's most powerful families.

Blackness Castle was taken from the Crichton's in 1453 by the then king James II.

This was a Castle that only Cromwell over came in 1650 during the rampage

Cromwell led through Scotland burning everything he could.

Blackness Castle was converted into a prison circa 1540 and was used to imprison the enemies of

James V and held many famous prisoners of the crown

Cardinal Beaton being the most famous.

Covenanters and later war prisoners from the wars with France, Spain and America

it ceased to be a prison circa 1850.

The original entrance to the castle was blocked of circa 1550

and moved to face the sea making it harder to breach.  

Blackness Castle West Lothian
Blackness Castle West Lothian.

The House of Binns

The House of Binns has been home to the Dalyell’s for 400 years.

This house was built circa 1620 by Thomas Dalyell

a wealthy merchant from Edinburgh during the reign of King James VI and 1st,

where he worked for the royal court in London.

On massing his fortune he returned to Edinburgh

and purchased the lands and manor house of the Binns.

He then demolished the old manor house and built the present house.

A fascinating house and well worth a visit.

House of Binns West Lothian

Linlithgow Cross Well

The Cross Well or fountain where fresh spring water flowed is where the town Cross stood.

The Fountain in the shape of a Crown was erected in 1807.

The original Cross Well was built in 1628.

The present Cross Well Fountain is an exact replica.

Cross Well Fountain West Lothian

St Michaels Church

On 22nd May 1242, the Church of St Michael of Linlithgow was consecrated

by the Bishop of St Andrews

St Michael's church over the centuries has been burnt damaged used as a store house,

stables and barracks. It has even been used by the University of Edinburgh

during the plague.

 James IV, when visiting the church saw a ghost which warned him

that no good would come of his exploits,

and the Battle of Flodden Field and not to go. 

He was the last King to die in Battle.

Mary Queen of Scots was christened in

St Michaels next to Linlithgow Palace

where she was born.

St Michael's Church Linlithgow West Lothian
St Michael's Church Linlithgow insde.JPG

 St Michael’s Church

Gothic Timber Pulpit

This is a magnificent Church which has had many of the rulers of Scotland attend.

The Gothic timber pulpit is surrounded by 3 carvings of Queens

Elizabeth II, Mary Queen of Scots and St Margaret.

Mary Queen of Scots St Michael's Pulpit Linlithgow West Lothian
HRH Queen Elizabeth II St Michael's Pulpit Linlithgow West Lothian.
St Margaret.on St Michael's Pulpit Linlithgow West Lothian

St Michael’s Church

Stain Glass Window

St. Michael's Church on celebrating its 750th anniversary reinstalled a new stained glass window

in the St. Katherine's Aisle. 

The window is designed around the theme of Pentecost and is a must see.

St Michael's Church Stain Glass Window Linlithgow West Lothian

Mary Queen of Scots Statue

Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland.

(Dec 1542 – Feb 1587)

A Statue of Mary Queen of Scots stands in the grounds of Linlithgow Palace. 

Mary, daughter of King James V of Scotland. 

Was to became Queen,

6 days after she was born

on the death of her father.  

Mary of Guise was her mother

and had a Palace built in Edinburgh

on the north side of Castlehill.

Mary, Queen of Scots

was born in Linlithgow Palace

on 8 December 1542.

Mary Queen of Scot statue Linlithgow West Lothian

Linlithgow Palace 

St Michael's Church

In 1337 Edward III's English army set fire to Linlithgow,

which was largely built of wood.

In 1349 the Black Death (the plague) reached Scotland

and killed a third of the population of Edinburgh.

The King, his parliament and court took refuge in Linlithgow from Holyrood

to escape the plague.

There were more fires in 1411 and 1424 destroying most of the town.

In 1424 James I returned from exile in England

and built the Palace at Linlithgow, starting the work in 1425. 

James IV and James V,

made changes to the Palace.

James V making it a home for his wife Mary of Guise.

James VI moved to London in 1603,

where he added to his title James I of England.

Linlithgow Palace and St Michaels Church West Lothian

Linlithgow Palace

Charles I made an official visit to Linlithgow and stayed in the Palace in 1633.
Oliver Cromwell defeated the Scots at Dunbar in 1650

and entered Linlithgow in October occupying Linlithgow Palace.

The Palace was again destroyed by fire in 1746

when the Duke of Cumberland men left their fires burning,

it was said that they accidentally destroying the Palace.

This was an English army trait, of leaving fires that would burn the buildings

as previously donein Edinburgh to Holyrood in 1650.

Linlithgow Palace West Lothian.

Linlithgow Museum (Annet House)

When in Linlithgow after seeing the Palace and St Michaels Church,

go to the Annet House Museum

which has many interesting exhibits including

a scale model of the Linlithgow Cross

which stands at the foot of the road to Linlithgow Palace.

Another exhibit,

is the flags of the Scotch Brigade,

one of Scotland's oldest infantry regiments 

the exhibit that tells the story of

Mary Queen of Scots and Linlithgow Palace.

Regent Moray’s Assassination

 

On January 23rd 1570  in Linlithgow, Scotland, James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray,

Regent of Scotland on his way through Linlithgow was

shot and killed by James Hamilton of Bothwell Haugh.

He was the first assassination by a firearm in recorded history.

James Hamilton supported

Mary Queen of Scots

and fought against James Stewart,

1st Earl of Moray (Regent)

at the battle of Langside.

See the plaque on what was the Sherriff Court (now Court Residence)

commemorating this event. 

A stain glass window can be seen of the

Regent Moray shooting in St. Giles Edinburgh.

Ross Do’cot Linlithgow

The Ross Do’cot was built in the 16th century by the Baron Ross of Halkhead,

and can be seen opposite the Linlithgow Canal Centre.

The Winged St Michael Sculpture

The ‘Black Bitch’ Sculpture 
Linlithgow  town's ancient burgh seal

has the image of St Michael, and a dog (The Black Bitch).

To commemorate the Burgh seal

a sculpted bronze of each have been erected in Linlithgow.

St Michael slaying a Dragon

St Michael, is the patron saint of Linlithgow,

and the Guardian Angel

watching over the towns inhabitants.

A Hunting Dog

The actual reason for the dog is not known

but could be a dog that helped his master

when his master was chained to a tree

on the island in the Loch.

 

On each of the sculptures are inscriptions

of the granting of Linlithgow's original coats of arms

by the Lord Lyon King of Arms

on 16 July 1673.

Cairnpapple Hill

Neolithic Burial Site at Cairnpapple Hill first used circa 4000 BC.

Go inside and see the centuries roll bye.

Cairnpapple Hill in West Lothian between Bathgate and Torphichen

is said to be the most important mainland archaeological site in Scotland.

The Cairnpapple site was found in 1947. 

Cairnpapple Hill is a important prehistoric monuments on the mainland of Scotland, Cairnpa
Cairnpapple Hill Sign Post

Bathgate West Lothian

Bennie Museum

Bathgate first known as Bathchet circa 1150 and through the ages changed slightly due to spelling errors.

Bathgate is a commuting town now but had a past of great importance,

the story of which can be found in the Bennie Museum, in the town centre.

Torphichen Preceptory

 Scottish Korean War Memorial

The Korean War Memorial in Scotland is located in West Lothian

Soldiers from Scotland were part of the UK, the second largest force in the Korean War the first being the USA.

During June 1950 to November 1953 a total of troops the United Kingdom deployed was 56,000 of which

1078 were killed in action, 2,674 wounded in action, 179 missing in action, and 977 prisoners of war.

These figures were provided by the Korean Government.

James Young (Paraffin)

James Young invented the process of

extracting, paraffin oil, paraffin wax,

and crude oil from oil shale,

 which began an oil boom in West Lothian.

The evidence still remains in the Bings

that are pink shale waste,

seen around west Lothian countryside.

 

James Young (BP)

James Young (1811-1883), engineer,

founder of first commercial oil-works in the world

and was regarded as the

father of the petrochemical industry.

The company set up by James Young

circa 1860

is now part of a well-known company worldwide

BP.

For more information on

James Young and the Shale Gas industry.

Go To

Museum of the Scottish

Shale Oil industry

Almond Valley Heritage Centre,

Millfield, Livingston,

West Lothian, EH54 7AR.

The shale Oil Industry of Scotland ended circa 1960

the museum tells the story of the industry

with many artefacts from years gone bye.