THIS week, Chris Atkinson brings us the history of the village of Dolphinton...

Dolphinton, a small village between Biggar and West Linton, straddles the boundary between Peeblesshire and Lanarkshire.

The name Dolphinton, which frequently occurs in the lowlands of Scotland, is evidently derived from Dolfin, the founder of the township in the 12th century.

The Dolphinton estate was owned in various forms by the Brown family from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. It passed by marriage in 1755 from the Brown to the Mackenzie family, the Douglas family retaining the patronage and most of the superiority.

A typical T-plan, the church at Dolphinton, originally a parsonage in the 13th century, and although the building is comparatively modern, having been extensively rebuilt in 1786, it appears to have always occupied the same site.

Although the cemetery opened in the late 1700s the circular shape of the graveyard suggests it has been a religious site since early times. The bell in the open stone bellcote on top of the east wall is about 18 ins diameter. The only external decoration is moulding at the top of the soundbow.

No moulding wires and no inscription. The bell has poor tone and for one which dates from about 1800 is surprising.

With the coming of the railway two rival companies, the Caledonian and the North British, had opposing aims, the Caledonian to extend into the Midlothian coalfields and the North British into Lanarkshire coalfields.

They met at Dolphinton and there they stayed with no coal trade ensuing. So Dolphinton had two stations, two station masters, two engine sheds, two turntables and much besides.

No through trains, passengers had to walk between stations and wait for connecting services, but they did have direct connections to Edinburgh and Glasgow

An earlier settlement to the south of the village sat between the farms of Townhead and Townfoot but since the arrival of the railways the centre of the village now lies further north at Loanend.

The Garvald estate, lying between the Garvald Burn, rough flowing stream, and the Medwin Water, soft flowing stream, was for many years in the hands of the Dick family until it was sold in 1826 to John Allan Wardrop of Dalmarnock.

It remained with that family until 1926 when the house and policies were bought by Mr John White, Edinburgh.

Since 1944, Garvald West Linton has been a provider of residential care and creative day opportunities for adults with learning disabilities.