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Mid Calder (Scots: Mid Cauder) is a town in West Lothian, Scotland. It is located on a steep hill overlooking the River Almond and Calder Wood, around 15 miles (24 km) west of Edinburgh. The town has been on a major crossroads since its origin some time in the eleventh century.

Mid Calder
View of Mid Calder, West Lothian
Mid Calder is located in West Lothian
Mid Calder
Mid Calder
Location within West Lothian
Population5,370 [1]
OS grid referenceNT073675
Civil parish
  • Mid Calder
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLivingston
Postcode districtEH53
Dialling code01506
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°53′30″N 3°28′52″W / 55.8918°N 3.4810°W / 55.8918; -3.4810Coordinates: 55°53′30″N 3°28′52″W / 55.8918°N 3.4810°W / 55.8918; -3.4810



A flame barrage demonstration staged by the Petroleum Warfare Department 28 November 1940

James Sandilands received the lands of Calder from his brother-in-law, William IV, Lord of Douglas, in the 14th century. During the Wars of Scottish Independence, Sir James de Sandilands distinguished himself in the wars against the English. For his services he was rewarded with a royal charter of his lands by David II of Scotland. James was well connected and married Eleanor, the only daughter of Sir Archibald Douglas, Regent of Scotland.[1] The gift included extensive estates in what is now West Lothian, and the Barony of Calder. After the Reformation in 1560, Sir James Sandilands, the head of the Sandilands family, was created Lord Torphichen. Since 1348 the family seat has been at Calder House,[2] near to the middle of the village.

Kirk of Calder.

For centuries a large part of the economy of the Scottish Highlands revolved around the breeding and trading of Highland cattle. They were moved along drove roads from all parts of the country, including some of the islands, to trysts or markets held in Crieff and Falkirk. Most of the cattle would then be driven south to feed consumers in England. Several of the drove routes used came together at Mid Calder. Huge herds of cattle would come across fords or bridges over the River Almond before crossing the Pentland Hills to West Linton. The peak year was 1840 when some 150,000 cattle passed through the area over the three months from August to October. This traffic helped support no fewer than nine public houses in the village.

Meanwhile, Mid Calder also lay on the main turnpike road from Edinburgh to Glasgow, adding a steady flow of east–west traffic to the seasonal influx of drovers heading south. However, the importance of the turnpike lessened at the same time as the cattle droving stopped, and for the same reason: the railways. And for once the acumen and foresight that had allowed the Sandilands to retain their position for so many centuries missed a beat. When the railway came to West Lothian in 1848, the then Lord Torphichen decreed that it should not come near Calder House.

As a result, Mid Calder was served by a station at Kirknewton, three miles away which was called Mid Calder until 1982. This meant that adapting to the loss of its traditional sources of income could have been difficult for the village. But at precisely the right moment the world's first oil boom occurred, in West Lothian. This was based on oil extracted from shale, and by 1870 over 3 million tons of shale were being mined each year in the area around Mid Calder. Output declined with the discovery of liquid oil reserves around the world in the early 1900s, but shale mining only finally ceased in 1962. The "bings" that characterise oil shale mining elsewhere in West Lothian have largely been flattened around Mid Calder and the land reclaimed for recreation, industry and housing.

Another major factor leading to Mid Calder's current prosperity has been the dramatic growth of nearby Livingston, now the second largest settlement in the Lothians and whose main shopping centre is only a mile to the west.

The outlying areas of Mid Calder were heavily built upon in the 1980s, and as a result, middle-class housing estates are a stone-throw away from both Calder House and woodlands.

Mid Calder is also home to Lodge St John Mid Calder number 272 on the Roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This Freemason lodge was formed on 4 May 1818 (although Freemasonry was active in the area since at least the 1750s). Since 1936 the lodge has owned its own building at the entrance of the Calder Wood Country Park.

In 2005, Mid Calder was subject to unwanted publicity when it became the first place in Britain to issue an ASBO in a village-wide crackdown on the anti-social behaviour of drunken teenagers.[3] The ASBO allowed police to disperse any young person found outdoors. After one month of operation, the order was deemed a success and to this day, Mid Calder remains one Central Scotland's most desirable village locations.

Public ServicesEdit

Waste collection services are provided by West Lothian Council, Water and Sewage services are provided by Scottish Water.


The local police force for Mid Calder is Police Scotland and the village is in East Livingston and East Calder policing ward. Following the closure of the police station that was located on Market Street in Mid Calder, the policing wards station is Broxburn Police Station [4].


Mid Calder along with the rest of West Lothian is an SNP and Labour marginal seat.

In West Lothian council Mid Calder is part of the East Livingston and East Calder Ward and is represented by four councilors.[5] who are Carl John (SNP), Frank Anderson (SNP), Damian Timson (Conservative) and Dave King (Labour).

Mid Calder is part of the Almond Valley Constituency since 1999 and is represented by the Scottish National Party (SNP) Angela Constance who has held the seat since 2007 when the constituency was called Livingston.

Mid Calder has been part of the Livingston UK Parliament constituency since 1983. Mid Calder is now represented by Hannah Bardell (SNP) [Livingston UK Parliamentary Constituency] who has held the seat since the United Kingdom general election 2015.

Mid Calder is part of the Scotland European Parliament constituency.


The Church of Scotland church in Mid Calder is known as the Kirk of Calder. The present Kirk dates from 1541.


The nearest station to Mid Calder is Livingston South on the Shotts Line which is 1.6 miles (2.6 km) away.[6] Kirknewton railway station which is 2 miles (3.2 km) from Mid Calder was called Mid Calder between 1855 and 1982.[7]

Mid Calder is 6 miles (9.7 km) South of Edinburgh Airport and 37 miles (59.5 km) east of Glasgow Airport[8] both of which have regular flights to UK and international destinations.

Mid Calder is served by regular bus services connecting it to other parts of West Lothian and Edinburgh. The First services 27, 28 and N2 connect Mid Calder to Edinburgh, Kirknewton, East Calder, Livingston and Bathgate while E&M Horsburgh service 40 connects St Johns Hospital and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.


The Local Newspapers are the West Lothian Herald and Post which is a Free newspaper and delivered to all houses in the area and published by The Scotsman Newspaper. The other local newspaper is the West Lothian Courier. Residents also receive the West Lothian Bulletin 4 times a year. On a wider scale there is Edinburgh's local paper which is the Edinburgh Evening News.

The local BBC radio stations are BBC Radio Scotland and the Scottish Gaelic station BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. Local commercial radio includes Forth One and Capital FM Scotland.

The local television regions are BBC Scotland and STV Central.

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The Year of the Asbo". The Daily Telegraph. London. 18 December 2005. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  4. ^ "East Livingston and East Calder - Police Scotland".
  5. ^ "East Lothian and East Calder Ward". West Lothian Council. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Nearest station to Mid Calder". Transport Direct. Retrieved 30 December 2011.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Butt 1995, p. 159.
  8. ^ "Mid Calder, Livingston, West Lothian Nearest station/airport(s)". Retrieved 30 December 2011.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit

  • Local History Link [2]