Memorials and monuments
West Lothian is particularly rich in 18th and 19th century gravestones. Interesting churchyards to visit include Abercorn, Torphichen and Ecclesmachan. East Calder has some unusual 'primitive' eighteenth century carving, and Whitburn boasts the gravestone of a daughter of Robert Burns - a white-painted iron gravemarker, so it's easy to find.
Burials records - pre-1855
West Lothian Local History Library holds some records which can help to trace pre-1855 burials:
- West Lothian Old Parish Registers
- the International Genealogical Index (based on old parish registers) for the whole of Scotland and Ireland
- Monumental Inscriptions for West Lothian and many other parts of Scotland
Burial and lair records after 1855
For burial records after 1855, or for information on purchasing a lair or burial arrangements, contact West Lothian Council Cemeteries Section, County Buildings, Linlithgow, EH49 7EZ. Tel. 01506 282490.
Almost every local town and village has its own war memorial, some of them very fine. The War Memorial Scotland (new window) website aims to record every memorial in Scotland, and includes a few local ones. The West Lothian Local History Library (new window) in County Buildings, High Street, Linlithgow, holds a number of rolls of honour for both World Wars, and the local newspapers often printed obituaries of the fallen. You can search the local newspapers index (new window) by name.
Monuments in West Lothian include a bronze statue (familiarly known as The Green Man) of the Earl of Linlithgow, Governor General of Australia in the gardens behind Linlithgow Burgh Hall, a memorial on top of Bonnytoun Hill between Linlithgow and Bo'ness to Adrian Hope who was killed in the Indian Mutiny, and a granite monument in Bathgate to John Newland, whose fortune provided for the building of the original Bathgate Academy. For information on these and other monuments, visit the West Lothian Local History Library in Linlithgow.
Frequently Asked Questions
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The lair owner is responsible for the memorial. The Council are responsible for the maintenance and safety of the Cemetery/Churchyard under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.