Encyclopaedia Perthensis; Or Universal Dictionary of the Arts, Sciences, Literature &c (Volume XXIII 1816) – John Brown
Transcript: (12.) West Calder, a parish of Scotland, in Midlothian, 10 miles long, and 5½ broad; bounded on the south by the Cairn hills, and on the north by the Briech, a river which runs into the Almond, at the north east point of the parish. The south part, adjacent to the parishes of Carnwath and Dunsyre, consists of high moorish grounds, interspersed with large marines, and divided into 15 sheep farms which feed about 6000 sheep annually, besides horses. The soil of the arable parts is a black molly earth, or a wet clay on a till bottom. The height is from 450 to 700 feet above the sea level. From this and its vicinity to the Cairn hills, the climate is cold and moist. Agriculture is but little improved. Oats, potatoes, barley, flax, rye-grass, peas, and turnips are the usual crops. The population, in 1798, was 1289 a decrease of 5 since 1755. In the south part of the parish, there are relics of an ancient castle fortified by Oliver Cromwell. Coals and limestone abound, but the former are not wrought, though the proprietor is intending to work them. The inhabitants are very decent, sober, and industrious, quite free from the vices of the metropolis, though so near it.