infobox UK place
country = Scotland
official_name= Linlithgow
gaelic_name= Gleann Iucha
scots_name= Lithgae
population= 13,370
os_grid_reference= NS996774
unitary_scotland= West Lothian
lieutenancy_scotland= West Lothian
constituency_westminster= Linlithgow and East Falkirk
constituency_scottish_parliament= Linlithgow Lothians
post_town= LINLITHGOW
postcode_district = EH49
postcode_area= EH
dial_code= 01506

static_image_caption=Linlithgow from Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow (pronounced [lɪnˈlɪθgəʊ] ) (Scottish Gaelic: "Gleann Iucha", Scots "Lithgae") is a town and former Royal Burgh in West Lothian, Scotland. Those born in Linlithgow are sometimes nicknamed Black Bitches, and the town's coat of arms shows a black bitch dog, chained to an oak tree, which grows on an island. Linlithgow's patron saint is Saint Michael and its motto is "St. Michael is kinde to strangers".

The town is served by Linlithgow railway station.


Formerly the principal town of West Lothian, which was also known as Linlithgowshire, the town lies some 20 miles west of Edinburgh along the main railway route to Glasgow. Before the building of the M8 & M9 motorways and the Forth Road Bridge it lay on the main road from Edinburgh to Stirling, Perth and Inverness while the canal system linked the burgh to Edinburgh and Glasgow. The nearby village of Blackness once served as the burgh's port.

The chief historic attraction of Linlithgow are the remains of Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of James V and Mary Queen of Scots, and probably Scotland's finest surviving late medieval secular building. The present Palace was started (on an older site) in 1424 by James I of Scotland. It was burnt in 1746, but though unroofed is still largely complete, though very few of the original furnishings have survived.

Linlithgow was also the site of the battle of Linlithgow Bridge at the western edge of the town. Another attraction is 15th century St. Michael's Church, the most complete surviving example of a large late medieval 'burgh kirk' in ScotlandFact|date=June 2007. Its western tower originally had a distinctive stone 'crown spire', of the type seen also on St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, or St. Nicholas' Cathedral, Newcastle-on-Tyne, which was removed in the early 19th century. In 1964 a replacement, and at the time controversial, spire in aluminium in a modern style, representing Christ's crown of thorns, was added.

Linlithgow lies on the Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal and the Linlithgow Union Canal Society run a Canal Museum and operate narrowboat tours from Manse Road basin. [ cite web|url= |title=Linlithgow Canal Centre |accessdate=2008-04-08 ]

Two large tracts of the northern side of the High Street were demolished in the 1960s and replaced by flats and public buildings in a modernist style. Although these buildings were no doubt welcomed at the time as being a vast improvement on what must have been cramped and dilapidated traditional accommodation, they were poorly conceived and constructed and have required extensive maintenance and renovation over the years. Many locals lament the brutal effect these buildings have had on the character and appearance of the town's main thoroughfare, and indeed such a dramatic remodelling of buildings forming such a central part of the town would be unthinkable nowadays.

Today the town is especially popular with middle classes and commuters, not only because of its excellent transport links with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling, but also because of the perceived quality of its schooling. The town has grown considerably, especially during the 1990s and there is a shortage of spaces at the local schools as well as the inevitable problems of parking. However, due to the town being bounded by green belt to the south, the M9 to the north, the river Avon and county boundary to the West and the east side of the town only having limited access to the M9, and especially because Linlithgow Academy is full, it is difficult to see how permission could be granted for the town to grow further, and most of the housing growth within West Lothian is likely to be in the Livingston area.

Linlithgow is also home to a major facility owned by Sun Microsystems, one of their most important factories outside the US (and as of 2007 the only manufacturing facility outside the US) and a major local employer. Former industries include the St. Magdalene's distillery, the Nobel explosives works, paper mills and many tanneries.


The town has a generally east-west orientation and is centred on what used to be the main Edinburgh-Stirling road; this now forms the main thoroughfare called the High Street. Plots of farmed land, known as rigs, ran perpendicular to the High Street and comprised much of the town's development until the 19th century. Growth was restricted to the north by Linlithgow Loch, and by the steep hill to the south, but, in the late 19th & early 20th centuries, development began to take place much further south of the High Street. In the late 20th century, demand for housing saw many residential developments take place much further south, as well as spreading into new areas. This southward development was bisected by the Union Canal and latterly the main Edinburgh-Glasgow railway line, and today the limited crossings of both cause problems with modern traffic as there are only three places where each can be crossed in the town.

To the west, Linlithgow Bridge used to be a somewhat distinct village with its own identity, but in the latter half of the 20th century it was enveloped in the expansion of the main town and today the distinction between them is hard to make out.

Facilities and leisure

Linlithgow’s rich history and central location make it a popular tourist destination, while a significant proportion of the local population make the daily commute to Glasgow, Edinburgh or Stirling.

The town is well served by three supermarkets and a retail park situated in Linlithgow Bridge hosting a Homebase and an Argos Extra among its five units. However, the town continues to support a diverse range of local retailers in the High Street.

Linlithgow is of sufficient size that facilities for most common participitation sports can be found in or around the town. Linlithgow is also host to Linlithgow Rose Football Club and Linlithgow Rugby Football Club, as well as West Lothian County Cricket Association.

A number of local parks, including play areas for children, are spread throughout the burgh, with the tract of land surrounding the palace known as The Peel being particularly popular in summer. Low Port Outdoor Education Centre [] is situated next to the loch and provides facilities for many outdoor activities, many based on the adjacent loch. Nearby country parks include Beecraigs and Muiravonside.

Educational establishments within the town include Linlithgow Academy, which regularly appears close to the top of the school league tables in Scotland and is one of the main reasons for the demand for housing in Linlithgow, and five primary schools; Linlithgow Primary School, St Josephs Primary School, Linlithgow Bridge Primary School, Low Port Primary School and Springfield Primary School.

Donaldson's College - Scotland's national school for the deaf - relocated from Edinburgh to a new building in Linlithgow in 2008.

The Riding of the Marches, held in one form or another since the mid-16th century and nowadays celebrated on the first Tuesday after the second Thursday in June, involve young and old in the tradition of checking the burgh's perimeter, including the town's historic port of Blackness. Although today's activities are centered more on the colourful parades through the town that involve bands and floats decorated by local groups, the more ceremonial duties of the Marches are still adhered to and a variety of local groups ensure that the traditions, old and new, are maintained.

There are many other events during the year such as the Children's Gala Day [ cite web|url= |title= Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Children's Gala Day|accessdate=2008-04-08 ] , the Linlithgow Folk Festival and a pre-Christmas Victorian Street Fayre, and the sense of community is enhanced by many active local groups such as Linlithgow Amateur Musical Productions (LAMP) [] , Lithca Lore, The Linlithgow Players [] and The 41 Club. The town also has its own weekly local newspaper, the Linlithgow Gazette.

The town has two Church of Scotland parish churches - St Michael's and the smaller St. Ninian's Craigmailen. There are also churches of other denominations, including a methodist chapel (now an evangelical church, St. Johns, which meets in Linlithgow Academy on a Sunday morning), an architecturally distinctive Scottish Episcopal church, and a Roman Catholic church which was used as a ambulance depot by Polish servicemen during the second world war. [ [ 1ST MOTOR AMBULANCE CONVOY - The story of a Polish ambulance unit stationed in the historic burgh of Linlithgow ] ]

Notable people

King James V was born in Linlithgow Palace.

Mary Queen of Scots was born and christened in Linlithgow.

Linlithgow was the childhood home of the current First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond.

In September 2007, the Linlithgow Story museum at Annet House unveiled a memorial plaque dedicated to the fictional Star Trek character "Scotty", the chief engineer of the 'Federation Starship Enterprise', who, it has been claimed, was born in Linlithgow in 2222.

See also

* Forth to Firth Canal Pathway


External links

* [ Linlithgow town portal]
* [ About Scotland, Linlithgow Palace]
* [,70 Gazetteer for Scotland]
* [ Economic History of Linlithgow]
* [ The Linlithgow Story museum (Annet House)]
* [ St John's Church]
* [ Linlithgow Amateur Musical Productions, LAMP]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Linlithgow — gälisch Gleann Iucha scots:  Lithgae …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Linlithgow —    LINLITHGOW, a royal burgh, a parish, and the seat of a presbytery, in the county of Linlithgow, of which it is the principal town; containing, with part of the village of Linlithgow Bridge, 5950 inhabitants, of whom 3872 are in the burgh, 8… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Linlithgow — (spr. Linlishgo, West Lothian), 1) eine der kleinsten Grafschaften des südlichen Schottland zwischen den Grafschaften Edinburg, Lanerk u. Stirling; 5,6 QM.; Gewässer: Frith of Forth, Almond u. Avon; Boden uneben (höchster Punkt Cairn naple, 1398… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Linlithgow — (spr. linlithgo), Hauptstadt (royal burgh) der danach benannten schott. Grafschaft, das Versailles der Könige Schottlands, mit einem Schloß (l5. Jahrh.), in dem Maria Stuart geboren wurde, liegt im Innern der Grafschaft, an einem kleinen See und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Linlithgow — (spr. lithgoh), West Lothian, Grafschaft in Südschottland, 311 qkm, (1901) 65.699 E. Die Hauptstadt L., am See L., 4279 E., Schloßruinen; Bahnviadukt über den Avon; Hafen ist Borrowstounneß …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Linlithgow — (Linlisgo) oder Westlothian, kleine südschott. Grafschaft von 5 2/3 QM., wohlangebaut u. fruchtbar, mit wichtiger Pferde u. Rindviehzucht, Bergbau auf Steinkohlen, Quadersandstein und Kalk. 31000 E. Hauptort das gleichnamige Städtchen mit 6000 E …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Linlithgow —   [lɪn lɪθgəʊ], Stadt im Verwaltungsdistrikt West Lothian, Schottland, westlich von Edinburgh, 11 900 Einwohner; Papier , pharmazeutische Industrie, Whiskybrennereien.   Stadtbild:   Der ehemalige Palast der schottischen Könige, in dem Maria… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Linlithgow — [lin lith′gō] former name for WEST LOTHIAN …   English World dictionary

  • Linlithgow — 55° 58′ 45″ N 3° 36′ 38″ W / 55.97905, 3.61054 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Linlithgow — Original name in latin Linlithgow Name in other language Gleann Iucha, Linlitgou, Linlithgow, Lithgae, Линлитгоу, Лінлітгоу State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 55.97639 latitude 3.60364 altitude 51 Population 13863 Date 2010 08… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

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