Origin of Name: Originally called Temple Liston after the Knights Templar. The area was originally the barony of Liston then it was also named after the church during the 14th century hence KirkListon
Position: Airport/Greenbelt to east, Newbridge to south, West Lothian to West and South Queensferry to the north. See map above.
Historical Notes: The Parish church was built around 1200 which would mean there was a reasonable population in the village which was owned by the Knights Templar. In 1235 Kirkliston was the setting for the first known meeting of Scottish parliamentarians, the Estates of Parliament . In 1298 Edward I rested in a field on the Newliston Estate on his way to battle the Scots at Falkirk. When the Knights templar lost control of the lands due to their dissolution, the Knights of St John of Jerusalem held the area until the reformation. A Bishop of St Andrew acquired control of the village and made Liston the seat of their authority in a hall where their baillie held his courts. This lasted until around 1748 when hereditary jurisdictions were abolished. The village was sited around the parish church, along the current High Street and Station Road. Agriculture was the main occupation but there were also mills on the river Almond. The 17th century Breast Mill on New Liston Road was operational until 1928 and is now in residential use. In the 1600s Kirkliston expanded when linen weaving was introduced and again when the distillery opened at the end of the 1700s. Many of the older buildings today are Victorian including the two storey bay windowed houses in The Square and the Free Church which was built in 1843
Today: The area mostly consists of private housing, mainly houses but also some flats. There are plans to build up to 600 homes almost doubling the size of Kirkliston, a move not popular in the area. There are lots of historic sites to see, pleasant walks by the river Almond, a sports centre, pub, library and local shops.
Did You Know: Kirkliston railway station on Station road was opened in 1866. It was on the Ratho – Dalmeny line of the North British Railway Co and closed in 1930. Freight trains continued until 1966
Castle House is the second oldest remaining building in Kirkliston after the parish church. It was once an inn.
Kirkliston had a nickname – cheesetown. The origin is uncertain but is popularly thought of as referring to the workers on the Forth Bridge who lodged in the village and ate cheese sandwiches for lunch
There is a gravestone in the parish graveyard dated 1727 and depicts a figure wearing glasses with sides. This would make it the oldest image of anyone wearing such glasses anywhere in the world. Unfortunately I couldn't find the stone.
Links: http://www.kirklistoncc.btik.com/ Link to new Community Council Website