Corstorphine Old Parish Church

The Lost Medieval Parish of Gogar

First published on: 1st February 2011


The Lost Medieval Parish of Gogar

 The congregation will know that Gogar Church is part of our Corstorphine Old Parish.  However, Gogar itself was first mentioned as a parish of its own when the church there was reconsecrated by the Bishop of St Andrews in 1247. This parish comprised two parts, ‘Nether Gogar’ to the north and ‘Over Gogar’ to the south—and it was the former area with its castle, ‘fermtoun’ and mill which joined Corstorphine in 1599. 

 The medieval history of Gogar and recent archaeological findings (pottery sherds etc) from investigations on the RBS headquarters site are in a fascinating 26 page article (by Jenni Morrison, Richard Oram and Alisdair Ross) in Volume 139 of  Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, published in November 2010.  It reveals for instance that the name Gogar comes from an early Celtic root and refers to a topographical feature like a small spur of land (the location of which is obscure today).  Apparently the earliest historical record of the Lands of Gogar appear in a Charter issued between 1165—74 in which William the Lion, King of Scots, regrants an earlier gift of them to Sir Ralph de Graham, whose family were amongst the influx of Normans from England attracted by David I to improve order and administration in Scotland.

 There is considerably more information covering the period up to the 17th Century;.  If anyone is interested, a copy of the article has been lodged in the Church Secretary’s office—or they can approach me.

 David Cameron



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