West Lothian
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West Lothian

(Click to see a larger picture)

West Lothian is a small county lying on the south bank of the Firth of Forth and bounded by Midlothian to the east, Stirlingshire to the west, and Lanarkshire to the south.

The county town is Linlithgow and, indeed, the county was formerly known as Linlithgowshire.   Linlithgow Palace, a magnificent building (now ruined), was built in 1425 at the command of James I.   James V was born there in 1512 and 30 years later, in 1542, Mary Queen of Scots was born in the Queens Suite on the north side of the building.  The Palace lost most of its importance with the Union of the Crowns in 1603, following which the Scottish Court effectively decamped to London, and Charles II was the last monarch to stay there (in 1633) though the Young Pretender (Bonnie Prince Charlie) spent a night there in 1745.   Might it have been because of this that Cumberland's government army, billeted in the Palace for a night in January 1746, set fire to it on leaving?

The grim 15th century Blackness Castle stands on the shores of the Forth just upstream from the famous bridges, looking just like an old ship about to set sail. One of the most formidable strongholds in Scotland, the castle was used largely as a state prison, its most famous inmate probably having been Cardinal Beaton of St Andrews in 1543.   Beaton probably occupied the reasonably comfortable accommodation reserved for celebrity prisoners, and would not have had to experience life in "The Pit", a grim dungeon which, together with its unfortunate inmates, was "slopped out" by the tide twice every day. More recently it has been the setting for various television and film productions and you can even get married there if you want.   In complete contrast, Hopetoun House, built by William Bruce with later extensive additions by William Adams and his sons, is one of Scotland's most elegant and palatial stately homes.

On a completely different note, it was near Bathgate in West Lothian that the world's oldest known fossil reptile was found in 1989.   The eight-inch lizard-like creature lived in the swamps in central Scotland some 338 million years ago.

Family names associated with West Lothian include Livingston, Dundas, Hamilton, Primrose (the Earls of Roseberry), Hope, and Dalyell.

Our map of the county measures 11 x 8 inches (300 x 225 mm) when stitched on the supplied 27-count Linda evenweave material and has 15 buildings (including all those mentioned above), sailing boats, place names, compass and crest.  The kit includes twenty-nine shades of Anchor stranded cotton and has a stitch count of 159 x 119.

Kit 21.50 UK pounds
Chartpack 10.55 UK pounds

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