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  • Midlothian
  • Midlowden
  • Meadhan Lodainn
Midlothian in Scotland.svg
Coat of arms of MidlothianMidlowdenMeadhan Lodainn
Coat of arms
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country Scotland
Lieutenancy area Midlothian
Admin HQ Dalkeith
 • Body Midlothian Council
 • Total 136.6 sq mi (353.7 km2)
Area rank Ranked 21st
 • Total 91,340
 • Rank Ranked 25th
 • Density 668.84/sq mi (258.24/km2)
ONS code S12000019
ISO 3166 code GB-MLN
Largest town Penicuik

Midlothian ( Scottish Gaelic: Meadhan Lodainn) is a historic county, registration county, lieutenancy area and one of 32 council areas of Scotland used for local government. Midlothian lies in the east-central Lowlands, bordering the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

Midlothian emerged as a county in the Middle Ages under larger boundaries than the modern council area, including Edinburgh itself – and also known as Edinburghshire until 1921. It bordered West Lothian to the west, Lanarkshire, Peeblesshire and Selkirkshire to the south, and East Lothian, Berwickshire and Roxburghshire to the east. Traditional industries included mining, agriculture and fishing – although the modern council area is now landlocked.


There is a Midlothian constituency of the House of Commons. There was a Midlothian constituency of the Scottish Parliament up to the 2011 elections when it was divided between Midlothian North and Musselburgh and Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale.

Places of interest

Towns and villages

  • Auchendinny
  • Bilston
  • Bonnyrigg
  • Borthwick
  • Cousland
  • Carrington
  • Dalkeith
  • Danderhall
  • Easthouses
  • Edgehead
  • Fala
  • Fushiebridge
  • Gorebridge
  • Gowkshill
  • Hillend
  • Howgate
  • Lasswade
  • Leadburn
  • Loanhead
  • Mayfield
  • Millerhill
  • Milton Bridge
  • Newbattle
  • Newtongrange
  • Nine Mile Burn
  • North Middleton
  • Pathhead
  • Penicuik
  • Rosewell
  • Roslin
  • Shawfair
  • Silverburn
  • Temple

Civil Parishes in the County of Midlothian

(Unitary authority indicated where not Midlothian. Boundaries defined by Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973)

Midlothian or Edinburghshire Civil Parish map c.1854. Boundaries outlined in red
Modern & Historic Midlothian
Map contrasting the area comprising Midlothian council (dark blue) within the historic county of Midlothian (light blue).
  • Borthwick
  • Carrington
  • Cockpen
  • Cranston
  • Crichton
  • Currie (Edinburgh)
  • Dalkeith
  • Fala and Soutra
  • Glencorse
  • Heriot (Scottish Borders)
  • Inveresk (East Lothian)
  • Kirkliston (Edinburgh)
  • Kirknewton (West Lothian)
  • Lasswade
  • Mid Calder (West Lothian)
  • Newbattle
  • Newton
  • Penicuik
  • Ratho (Edinburgh)
  • Stow (Scottish Borders)
  • Temple
  • West Calder (West Lothian)

Former civil parishes outside Edinburgh now merged in the City of Edinburgh

Abolished 1902:

  • Duddingston

Abolished 1920

The above list does not include parishes which have been within the City of Edinburgh for county purposes since 19th century, namely within the "County of the City" of which the Lord Provost was and is Lord Lieutenant.

Twin towns and sister cities

Midlothian is twinned with Komárom-Esztergom in Hungary and Kreis Heinsberg in Germany. It is a sister city with Midlothian, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

Notable people associated with Midlothian

  • William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585–1649), Scottish poet.
  • Princess Margaret of Scotland (1598–1600), daughter of James VI and I of Scotland and England (born Dalkeith Palace)
  • John Clerk of Penicuik, 2nd Baronet (1676–1755), was a Scottish politician, lawyer, judge, composer and architect.
  • William Robertson (1721–1793), historian, minister in the Church of Scotland, and Principal of the University of Edinburgh
  • Robert Smith (1722–1777), American architect, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, born in Dalkeith
  • Hector Macneill (1746–1818), poet and songwriter, born near Roslin
  • John Clerk, Lord Eldin (1757–1832), Scottish judge, lived in Lasswade for several years.
  • Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) wrote the novel The Heart of Midlothian and lived at Lasswade Cottage (now Sir Walter Scott's Cottage) in Lasswade from 1798 to 1804, where he wrote his Grey Brother, translation of Goetz von Berlichingen, etc. and was visited by Wordsworth.
  • William Tennant (1784–1848), the author of Anster Fair, was parish schoolmaster in Lasswade from 1816 to 1819.
  • Thomas Murray (1792–1872), the Gallovidian author, died in Lasswade.
  • William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898), MP for Midlothian 1880–1895 and conducted his famous Midlothian campaign across the UK in 1880
  • Patrick Edward Dove (1815–1873), mainly remembered for his book The Theory of Human Progression, born at Lasswade
  • John Lawson Johnston (1839–1900), the creator of Bovril, born at Roslin.
  • John Pringle Burnett, (born 1846), actor and playwright, husband of English actress Jennie Lee.
  • Charles W. Nibley (1849–1931), Scottish-American religious leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Nibley was served as second counselor in the First Presidency to Heber J. Grant (1925–31), and Presiding Bishop (1907–25).
  • Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (1869–1959) of Glencorse, Nobel prize-winning physicist.
  • George Forrest (1873–1932), a plant collector who gained fame with his expeditions to the far east who spent a significant part of his early years in Loanhead.
  • Sir William MacTaggart (1903–1981), artist, and grandson of the artist William McTaggart, he became President of the Society of Scottish Artists, President of the Royal Scottish Academy, and Trustee of the National Museum of Antiquities.
  • Charles Forte, Baron Forte (1908–2007), the hotelier, worked in an Italian cafe in Loanhead, on his arrival in Scotland from Italy.
  • Karl Miller (1931–2014), founding editor of the London Review of Books and Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College, London (1974–1992), born in Straiton.
  • Annette Crosbie (born 1934), actress, born in Gorebridge
  • Ishbel MacAskill (1941–2011), heritage activist and traditional Scottish Gaelic singer and teacher
  • Gary Naysmith from Loanhead (born 1978), Scottish International Footballer who played for Heart Of Midlothian and Everton. He was named Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year in 1998. He won the Scottish Cup with Hearts in 1998.
  • Darren Fletcher (born 1984), from Mayfield Dalkeith. Scotland International footballer and holds the record of being the youngest player to captain his national side, and was part of the Manchester United squad that won the UEFA Champions League in the 2007–2008 season.
  • Steven Whittaker from Bonnyrigg, (born 1984), Scotland International footballer, ex-Hibernian F.C. and Rangers F.C.


Midlothian has a modern road network as well as some rural single-track roads. The Borders Railway runs between Tweedbank to Edinburgh, with four stations in Midlothian – Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange and Gorebridge.

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