The Info List - Lothian

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(/ˈloʊðiən/; Scots: Lowden;[2] Scottish Gaelic: Lodainn [ˈɫ̪ot̪aɲ]) is a region of the Scottish Lowlands, lying between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth
Firth of Forth
and the Lammermuir Hills. The principal settlement is the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, while other significant towns include Livingston, Linlithgow, Queensferry, Dalkeith, Musselburgh, North Berwick, Dunbar, and Haddington. Historically, the term Lothian
referred to a province encompassing most of what is now southeastern Scotland. In the 7th century it came under the control of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia, the northern part of the later kingdom of Northumbria, but the Angles' grip on Lothian
was quickly weakened following the Battle of Nechtansmere in which they were defeated by the Picts. Lothian
was annexed to the Kingdom of Scotland
around the 10th century.[3] Subsequent Scottish history saw the region subdivided into three shires—Mid, East, and West Lothian—leading to the popular designation of "the Lothians".


1 Etymology 2 Lothian
under the control of the Angles 3 Language 4 Local government 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links


The Lothian
(Burdiehouse) Burn as it passes through Little France, Edinburgh

The origin of the name is debated. It perhaps comes from the British *Lugudūniānā (Lleuddiniawn in Modern Welsh spelling) meaning "country of the fort of Lugus", the latter being a Celtic god of commerce.[4] Alternatively it may take its name from a watercourse which flows through the region, now known as the Lothian
Burn,[note 1] the name of which comes from the British lutna meaning "dark or muddy stream".[note 2][5] A popular legend is that the name comes from King Lot, who is king of Lothian
in the Arthurian legend. The usual Latin form of the name is Laudonia.[5] Lothian
under the control of the Angles[edit]

Traprain Law
Traprain Law
in East Lothian, said to have been the site of King Lot's capital

was settled by Angles at an early stage and formed part of the Kingdom of Bernicia, which extended south into present-day Northumberland. Many place names in the Lothians and Scottish Borders demonstrate that the English language became firmly established in the region from the sixth century onwards. In due course Bernicia
united with Deira
to form the Kingdom of Northumbria. Important Anglo Saxon structural remains have been found in Aberlady
along with various artefacts such as an early 9th century Anglo Saxon coin.[6] Little is recorded of Lothian's history specifically in this time. After the Norse settled in what is now Yorkshire, Northumbria
was effectively cut in two. How much Norse influence spread to the English north of the River Tees
River Tees
is uncertain. Bernicia
continued as a distinct territory, sometimes described as having a king, at other times an ealdorman (earl). Bernicia
became distinct from other English territories at this time due to its links with the other Christian kingdoms in what is present-day Scotland
and seems to have little to do with the Norse-controlled areas to the south. Roger of Wendover wrote that Edgar, King of the English granted Laudian to the King of Scots in 973 on condition that he come to court whenever the English king or his successors wore his crown. It is widely accepted by medieval historians that this marks the point at which Lothian
came under Scottish control. The River Tweed
River Tweed
became the de facto Anglo-Scottish border
Anglo-Scottish border
following the Battle of Carham in 1018. William the Conqueror
William the Conqueror
invaded Lothian
and crossed over the River Forth[7] but did not re-annex it. At this time Lothian
appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
as Loðen or Loþen. As late as 1091, the Chronicle describes how the Scottish king, Malcolm, "went with his army out of Scotland
into Lothian", and in the reign of King David, the people living in Lothian
are described as "English" subjects of the king. Language[edit] In the post-Roman period, Lothian
was dominated by British-speakers whose language is generally called Cumbric
and was closely related to Welsh. In Welsh tradition Lothian
is part of the "Old North" (Hen Ogledd). Reminders exist in British place-names like Tranent, Linlithgow
and Penicuik.[8] Although one of the few areas of mainland Scotland
where the Gaelic language was never dominant, the presence of some Gaelic place-names,[8][9] e.g. Dalry, Currie, Balerno
and Cockenzie, has been attributed to the "temporary occupation...[and] the presence of a landowning Gaelic-speaking aristocracy and their followers for something like 150–200 years."[10] Over time and due to various factors, the language of Lothian
and Northumbria, a northern variety of Middle English, came to displace Gaelic as the language of the Lowlands. The dialects of the modern Lothians are sometimes considered to be part of Central Scots. Local government[edit] The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973
abolished the county councils and burgh corporations, replacing them with regions and districts. Lothian
Regional Council formally took over responsibility from the old county councils in May 1975. The Lothian
region was split into four districts: East, Mid and West Lothian, and the City of Edinburgh. The former had more or less identical boundaries to the county council it replaced, but West and Mid Lothian
had large amounts of land taken from them to form the City of Edinburgh
district. The council was responsible for education, social work, water, sewerage, transport (including local buses within Edinburgh). The two-tier system was ended by the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994. Lothian
Regional Council was replaced by four unitary councils based on the former districts.

The Pentland Hills
Pentland Hills
in rural Lothian.


^ Also known as the Burdiehouse, Niddrie, or Brunstane
Burn as it passes through those neighbourhoods. ^ In contrast to the nearby Peffer Burn, the name of which comes from pefr, 'clear stream'.


^ "Estimated population by sex, single year of age and administrative area, mid-2014" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 17 May 2015.  ^ "Dictionary of the Scots Language :: SND :: Lowden prop. n". Dsl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-26.  ^ "Ancient Lothian
Timeline". Cyberscotia.net.  ^ Koch, John, Celtic Culture, ABC-CLIO, 2006, p. 1191. ^ a b Harris, Stuart (2002). The Place Names of Edinburgh: their Origins and History. London & Edinburgh: Steve Savage Publishers Ltd. ISBN 1904246060.  ^ "Important Anglo Saxon remains discovered in East Lothian". www.historyscotland.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018.  ^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicle ^ a b "Ancient Lothian". Cyberscotia.net.  ^ Craig Cockburn (2005-11-02). "Gaelic roots need to be unearthed". BBC News.  ^ W. F. H. Nicolaisen (2001). Scottish Place Names. John Donald Publishers. p. 240. ISBN 0-85976-556-3. 

External links[edit]

Herman Moll's map of the Lothian
shires (c.1745)

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Lothian.

Buses NHS Lothian

v t e

Traditional provinces and districts of Scotland

Major districts (former counties, provincial lordships and rural deaneries)

The Aird Annandale Angus Argyll Atholl Boyne Buchan Badenoch Breadalbane Caithness Carrick Clydesdale
(or Strathclyde) Cowal Cunningham Desnes Eskdale Farines Fife Fothriff Galloway Garioch Garmoran The Glenkens Gowrie Kintyre Knapdale Kyle Lauderdale Lennox Liddesdale Lochaber Lorn Lothian Mar Mearns Menteith Merse Moray Nithsdale The Rhinns Ross
(Easter and Wester) Stormont Strathavon Strathbogie Strathearn Strathgryfe Strathnaver Strathspey Sutherland Teviotdale Tweeddale

Minor districts

Applecross Appin Ardgour Ardmeanach Ardnamurchan Assynt Avondale Balquhidder Benderloch The Black Isle Braemar Coigach Cromar Cromdale Douglasdale Durness Dùthaich MhicAoidh Eddrachilles Enzie Ettrickdale Ewesdale Formartine Gairloch Glen Albyn Glen Almond Glen Cassley Glen Clova Glen Dochart Glenelg Glen Esk Glengarry Glen Lethnot Glen Lyon Glen Moriston Glen Orchy Glen Prosen Glenshee Glen Spean Glen Urquhart Gruinard Howe of Fife Howe of the Mearns Kintail Kintyre Knoydart Lochalsh Loch Broom Locheil The Machars Midmar Moidart Morar Morven Muir of Ord Rannoch Moor Rhinns of Kells Strathallan Strathardle Strathbran Strathbraan Strathcarron (Forth) Strathcarron (Oykel) Strathconon Strathdearn Strathdeveron Strathdee (Deeside) Strathdon Strathfarrar Strath Gartney Strathglass Strathisla Strathmore Strath of Kildonan Strath Oykel Strath Tay Strathyre Sunart Trossachs

Insular districts For smaller islands, usually districts in their own right, see List of Scottish islands

Islands of the Clyde

Arran Cumbrae


The Oa Rinns of Islay


Aros Ross
of Mull


Duirinish Minginish Sleat Trotternish Waternish

Outer Hebrides

Harris (North Harris, South Harris) Lewis
(The Lochs, West Side, Point, Back)


Pomona Hoy
and Walls Rousay Shapinsay South Ronaldsay Westray


Mainland (Central Mainland, North Mainland, South Mainland, West Mainland) Fetlar Unst Whalsay Yell North Isles

Border areas

Debatable Lands East March Middle March West March

v t e

Former local government regions of Scotland

Borders Central Dumfries and Galloway Fife Grampian Highland Lothian Strathclyde Tayside

Coordinates: 55°54′33″N 3°05′04″W / 55.90917°N 3.08444°W /