About Blackburn

Blackburn (Scottish Gaelic: An Dubh Allt) is a town in West Lothian, Scotland local to both Bathgate and Livingston, two of the larger towns in the county. It is situated approximately 20 miles west of Edinburgh and 25 miles east of Glasgow on the old A8 road.


Blackburn means “the black burn (stream)”, from Old English blæc “black” and burna “stream”. The name was recorded as Blachebrine in 1152. As a small industrial town Blackburn originally developed as a cotton manufacturing town. In the mid-19th Century it became a centre for coal mining.

Its small population expanded rapidly from 4302 in 1961 to around 9000 by 1965 as a result of employment opportunities in Bathgate to the north and through in-migration following the inception of the Glasgow Overspill Plan.
The closure of the British Leyland plant in 1986 brought decline to the area, along with the destruction of many homes built during the 1960s.

The railway station at Bathgate reopened in 1986 and the 30-minute journey to Edinburgh attracts commuters to live in Blackburn.


Blackburn and Seafield Parish Church (Church of Scotland) is located in Blackburn, with the Rev. Dr. Robert Anderson serving as its minister since 1998. The congregation celebrated its centenary in 2008. Blackburn Gospel Hall (Christian Brethren) meets for worship services and Bible studies in a well-kept church building originally constructed as Blackburn’s village school in the late 18th century. Our Lady of Lourdes, a Roman Catholic church located in Blackburn, also serves neighbouring communities and partners with a branch of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Educational facilities

The village is well known for St. Kentigern’s Academy (commonly called St. Kent’s), which is a large secondary school that attracts students from the surrounding areas of West Lothian.

Another catchment is Bathgate Academy, which is 2 miles away from Blackburn.

The village also houses three primary schools: Murrayfield Primary, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, Blackburn Primary, and a combination primary/secondary special school called Pinewood School.

Blackburn Academy was a non-denominational secondary school; it closed in 1992.


Blackburn is home to the junior football club Blackburn United who play at New Murrayfield Park near the centre of the town.