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RCAHMS County Inventory: Midlothian and West Lothian

Date June 1913 - November 1928

Event ID 1086866

Category Project

Type Project


Individual descriptive articles from the ‘Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the Counties of Midlothian and West Lothian', published by RCAHMS in 1929, were entered into Canmore during 2021. Where the article exceeded c.1,000 words in length, only the introductory paragraphs were reproduced. For a contemporary review of the volume, see The Antiquaries Journal, Vol. 10, Issue 3, July 1930, pp. 270-1.

Readers may consult the original text to clarify matters of detail, and to access the related material in the introduction and glossary etc. The entire volume, in PDF format, can be downloaded as Digital File WP 003825 (

The tenth report (RCAHMS 1929, iii-iv) is reproduced here to provide a further measure of the context and scope of the survey, which extended over some 15 years having been significantly disrupted by the Great War:

'We, Your Majesty's Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of the contemporary culture, civilisation, and conditions of life of the people in Scotland from the earliest times to the year 1707, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation, humbly present to Your Majesty this our Tenth Report. The Report deals with the monuments and constructions of Midlothian and West Lothian, exclusive of the historic City of Edinburgh and exclusive also of Leith and its immediate environs. Appended to it is a list of those which, in the opinion of Your Commissioners, seem most worthy of preservation. The list is divided into two groups: (a) those which appear to be specially in need of protection, and (b) those worthy of preservation but not in imminent risk of demolition or decay.

Your Commissioners have to express their thanks for the courtesy and co-operation which they have experienced at the hands of the owners of historic monuments in the area. They would also thank the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland for the use of illustrations and other facilities. They desire further to express their indebtedness to Mr. Brian C. Clayton for valuable assistance in photography, particularly for most of the photographs illustrating Roslin Chapel, facilities for the taking of which were kindly granted by the Earl of Rosslyn and the Rosslyn Trustees. The survey of the prehistoric monuments of Midlothian was largely carried out by Mr. J. Graham Callander, now Director of the National Museum of Antiquities.

The area covered by the Inventory, where not purely agricultural, has been much affected by industrial operations, especially mining. How far this may have been responsible for the disappearance of previously existing surface-constructions it is impossible to say, but it is not without significance that, even within recent years, Granton Castle should have been entirely removed. Although the prehistoric survivals are not numerous, several of them are of considerable interest. At the same time, it is the medieval monuments, the churches and the castles, that are here most important. Thus, West Lothian is remarkable for the Romanesque or Norman work in some of its parish churches; Midlothian for its group of collegiate churches of the fifteenth century. Midlothian, again, provides a few notable examples of the medieval castle, occasionally with historical associations of particular interest, while West Lothian, in addition to the well-preserved ruin of the Royal Palace of Linlithgow, contains a number of buildings which help to illustrate the later developments of the dwelling-house of the Scottish laird.





Chairman. ALEXR. O. CURLE.





Edinburgh, 15th May 1928'

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