Parkneuk / Parknook & Haugh (also Little Paisley)

                                                                         Image from Glhp archives
Beneath an unassuming patch of grass and trees beside the North East entrance to the Cameron Toll Shopping Centre, lies the village of Parkneuk.  It was situated on the North bank of the Braid Burn beside the footbridge and there are several nice engravings from the mid 19th century.  In 1786, 35 inhabitants were recorded at “Parkneuk and Little Paisly” (An Account of the Parish of Liberton, Rev Thomas Whyte,  Antiquaries of Scotland Transactions 1794, 373-374).   George Good in his book  Liberton in Ancient and Modern Times (1893) explains that Parkneuk was also known as Little Paisley because most of the inhabitants in the last century were hand-loom weavers and also that “an old path from Dalkeith Road to the mill at Nether Liberton passed beside it, but this was replaced by Lady Road which was built on the order of Mrs Gilmour, the last Laird’s mother.” 


The 1794 estate map of Craigmillar clearly shows both settlements and the surrounding open landscape of meadows and fields at that date.   In 1829 its weaving industry had long since declined but it still stood adjacent to a large area of pasture when it was assessed along with Kellie’s Park and the Kingshaugh (2 other pasture fields) at a rental of £249.12.2 payable by the tenant William Wilson.   Previously in 1815 and 1817 he had paid rent only on Kellies Park but by 1829 he was clearly expanding his grazing to the area around Parkneuk.  
RHP 140422, Plan of the Baronies of Craigmillar and Liberton, Edinburgh  in 1794
Copyright NAS

The 1829 rentals also recorded 17 houses with two proprietors (Thomas Ferrier and Mrs Brodie) and 15 occupiers.  These included James Ferrier - probably related to Thomas; Widow Mathieson; James Armour; John Dalgleish; George Simpson; James Lamont; Widow Duff; Andrew Archibald; Isabella Adams; Margaret Brotherstone; John Carr; Widow Currie; Catherine Miller; Mrs Strathie; Andrew Paton.  In the 1841 census the hamlets are still listed as separate places.  “Parknook” has 8 households with a total of 35 inhabitants while “Paisley” has a further 27 inhabitants in another 8 households.   By the 1851 census both hamlets had been merged into a single village “Parknook” with 20 households and a total 70 people.   10 of these households were single people or couples without any family and since the maps do not show that any significant new development the existing houses must have been subdivided to accommodate the increasing population.   Occupations include a former teacher, a former stablemaid, a blacksmith, 2 masons one with two sons trained as a joiner and a carpenter, several laundresses, 2 coal merchants and their staff, agricultural labourers, a dairymaid and 3 paupers.   Several families recorded in 1830 are still around in 1851 and the 1st ed OS map (below) confirms that the village itself had remained virtually unchanged since 1794.


1st edition OS map 1852-55 copyright NLS


Indeed the population remained fairly constant for the next 20 years with 19 families and 65 individuals in 1861 (including a contractor, James Elliott and family with overnight visitor David Masland an Engineer from Blairgowrie) and 63 people in 18 households in 1871 (Parknook).   It is very likely that the people in the 1861/1871 census are those referred to by James Goodfellow in his reminiscences about the area, The Print of His Shoe: Forty Years’ Missionary Experience in the Southside of Edinburgh, 1906.


Parkneuk from “The Print of his shoe” by James Goodfellow




Parkneuk was clearly still an attractive and pleasant place because he describes the hamlet “lying at the North East corner of the Inch Plantations shaded by the elm trees which form its background, and which make it look like a little picture in a green setting.  At one time weaving was the chief occupation of its people; but with the decline of that trade its stirring life gradually quieted down.  It contained eighteen families”.    


By 1881 the only significant change seems to be that the rental of the Haugh (or grassland) had shifted to Robert Black tenant at Bridgend Farm but the population had risen to 77 inhabitants (Parknook) comprising just 15 households and as the census records show this meant significant overcrowding in the small houses that were by now more than a century old with sometimes two or three different families sharing and large families spread out across several different households.   It is perhaps not surprising that the hamlet was about to experience radical alterations.   James Goodfellow says that “in 1885 about half of the old houses were dismantled which reduced the number of families about one-half”.   Only 43 inhabitants in 11 households are recorded in the 1891 census (Parkneuk) and the 1896

  OS map 25 inch 2nd ed.  1893-1896 copyright NLS
OS map clearly shows the changes.  The cottages that used to be Little Paisley have survived and some new houses built in a U-shape around a courtyard open to the North but most of Parkneuk has been removed (see above).   The 1901 census still records 13 households with 47 inhabitants but although the houses were still visible on a map in 1906 the OS map 1912 shows that the whole village had been completely cleared away except for a single house called Parkneuk cottage newly built in the NorthWest corner and only grassland and trees remain.  Unfortunately there is no 1911 census so it is not possible to say where all the inhabitants went to.  

OS map 1912-14 25 inch 2nd ed. copyright NLS



 Parkneuk Cottage disappeared during construction of the southern portion of the Cameron Toll roundabout and the car park entrance but when you cross the small stone bridge over the Broad Burn that once led into the village and walk through the grass and trees that now cover the foundations of the demolished houses you can perhaps imagine how the village might once have looked when all its houses were still standing there.     


Parkneuk  from GLHP Archives



1830 Rentals


In 1830 the rentals varied from £7.0.0 (Thomas Fairlie) and £4.0.0 (Mrs Brodie) for the proprietors down to 1.0.0 charged to Widow Duff who was also getting charity relief and the inhabitants covered a fairly wide social mix.


1815 29 June       Kellies Park                      William Wilson, Tenant                                               Rent £91.16.

01817 21 March Kellies Park                       William Wilson, Tenant                                               Rent £130.0.0

1829/1830          Kellies Park                        William Wilson, Tenant                                               Rent £249.12.2 (incl Kingshaugh & Parkneuk]       

1829 Rental   (assessed with Kingshaugh and Parknock [Parkneuk] Haugh)

1829/1830      Parknock [Parkneuk]            William  Wilson, Tenant  

see Kellie's Park + Kingshaugh (assessed with Kellie's Park and Kingshaugh)

 1829/1830       Parknook houses (17) 


These are all listed in a separate column on the rental so are probably sub-tenants of resident or non-resident proprietors                               


1829/1830  (Parknook houses)                  Thomas Ferrier proprietor                                           Rent £7.0.0

1829/1830                                                      James Ferrier,  occupier                                               Rent £2.0.0

1829/1830  (Parknook houses)                   Mrs Brodie, proprietor                                                Rent £4.0.0

1829/1830                                                      Widow Mathieson, occupier                                      Rent £2.0.0

1829/1830                                                      James Armour, occupier                                              Rent£2.0.0

1829/1830                                                     John Dalgliesh, occupier                                               Rent £4.0.0

1829/1830                                                     George Simpson, occupier                                            Rent £4.0.0


1829/1830                                                     James Lamont, occupier                                                Rent £2.0.0


1829/1830                                                     Widow Duff,  on Poor's Roll, occupier                        Rent£1.0.0


1829/1830                                                     Andrew Archibald, occupier                                          Rent £2.0.0


1829/1830                                                     Isabella Adams, occupier                                                Rent £1.10.0


1829/1830                                                     Brotherston, occupier                                                      Rent £1.0.0


1829/1830                                                    John Marr, occupier                                                          Rent £3.10.0


1829/1830                                                     Widow Currie, occupier                                                   Rent £4.0.0


1829/1830                                                    Catherine Miller, occupier                                               Rent £3.0.0


1829/1830                                                    Mrs Strathie, occupier                                                      Rent £3.0.0


1829/1830                                                    Andrew Paton, occupier                                                  Rent £4.0.0                        


Rental Information obtained from National Archives of Scotland, Craigmillar Papers Ref GD122



1841 Census




Robert Adams                   b.1821   Navy R

Thomas Pennycook          b.1781   Ag Lab  

Ann ?Aesmeth                   b.1821   Female Servant

John Scott                           b.1826   Man Servant

 Margaret Currie               b.1786   Washerwoman

James Currie                      b.1811   Labourer

Janet Currie                        b.1821  

May Matthewson              b.1806   Ag Lab  

Jane Matthewson              b.1811   Ag Lab

Mary Currie                         b.1836  

Alexr Robbie                       b.1776   Ind  

Elizabeth Robbie                b.1786   Washerwoman

Elizabeth Gray                    b.1827  

James Scott                         b.1835  

John ?Rellekon                   b.1839  

Isabella Lamont                  b.1806   Labourer

James Lamont                    b.1811  

Isabella Lamont                  b.1835 

Thomas Lamont                 b.1837  

James Lamont                    b.1839  

Andrew Robbie                  b.1816   Labourer  

Jane Robbie                        b.1816  

Alexander Robbie              b.1836  

James Robbie                     b.1838  

John Robbie                        b.1840  

George Simpson                b.1791   Ag Lab  

Mary Simpson                    b.1791  

David Simpson                   b.1821   Labourer   Margaret Simpson            b.1826  

Eliza Simpson                     b.1828  

Thomas Simpson               b.1830  

Euphemia Simpson           b.1831  




Sophia Cook                       b.1771   Breadseller

Sophia Cook                       b.1828

Mary Cook                          b.1833

Henrietta Cook                  b.1835

Alexander Dalgleish          b.1781   Labourer  

James Dalgleish                 b.1801   Labourer

Margaret Dalgleish           b.1811   Labourer

James Duncan                   b.1781   Shoemaker   Marion Duncan                 b.179

James Ferrier                     b.1788   Coal Merchant  

Isabella Ferrier                  b.1828

Sophia Cook                       b.1820  

David Finlayson                 b.1786   Ag Lab  

Margaret Finlayson          b.1791

Isabella Finlayson             b.1826  

Margaret Finlayson          b.183

Janet Lamont                     b.1791  

Janet Lamont                     b.1821

Alexander Lamont            b.1826   Ag Lab

 Henry Lamont                   b.1826   Ag Lab  

Ann Douglas                       b.183

Mary Lowrie                       b.1801   Ag Lab  

Alexander Lowrie              b.1826   Apprentice Joiner

Mary Lowrie                       b.1828  

George Lowrie                   b .1830

Robert Waugh                   b.1791   Independent   Isabella Waugh                  b.1801




  1880-81    Parkneuk Haugh  & Farm of Bridgend Robert  Black, Tenant & Occupier    [see Farm of Bridgend]     


Pack Horse Bridge, Inch Park, 2012 glhp archives



Jill Strobridge

Greater Liberton Heritage Project

June 2013