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Newbattle Local History Page

Newbattle Local History Page

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This history of the Newbattle area was gathered by former pupils of Newbattle High School, mainly from the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland (1861) and the Statistical Account of 1839, produced by local parish ministers.

In the nineteenth century, the area that the present school serves formed part of Edinburghshire. The Parish of Newbattle included Easthouses, Newtongrange and Stobhill.

About three-quarters of the parish was owned by the Marquis of Lothian, and the rest of it was divided between the Earl of Stair, Dundas of Arniston, and Wilson of Woodburn.

The Statistical Account of 1839 gives an idea of the number of people living in the parish. Numbers had risen significantly since the beginning of the century reflecting a general increase in population at that time. Specifically, the increase in this area was due to the extension of the colliery.

Most people in the area were employed in farming or, for more than two centuries, also in coal mining. By the middle of the nineteenth century, a branch line of the new railway linked the mines with the main line of Edinburgh Company's Railway. The Scottish Mining Museum in Newtongrange (www.scottishminingmuseum.com) has a lot of interesting information, not only of the local mines, but also of the coalmining industry in general.

Farming at this time was more labour intensive than now, and many families were raised on the nine shilling per week farm worker's wage. Farm produce and stock were sold at the market in Dalkeith or in Edinburgh.

At the time, the parish had no post office, the nearest being in Dalkeith. It did, however, have five alehouses.

The church in Newbattle Village was built in 1727 and held 420 people.

There were two main schools: a parish school, and an endowed school.