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The Blacksmith's Forge

The Dalkeith Co-operative Society was established in 1861, trading from these premises in High Street.

5 Newmills Road, Dalkeith, Midlothian, EH22 1DU

This is named after the blacksmith’s forge which was first recorded on this site in the 1850s. Blacksmiths subsequently practised their trade here until the 1970s. The 1850 map of Dalkeith shows that the wood yard had become a smithy, on what had been renamed Newmills Road. Generations of blacksmiths then worked hammer and tongs here, until c1970, after which the premises are listed in the valuation rolls as workshops.

Photographs and text about blacksmiths in Dalkeith.

The text reads: The town plan of Dalkeith, drawn in 1828, records that the site of the building you are now in was occupied by Mr Sanderson’s Wood Yard. Immediately opposite, there was a brewery, alongside the Cattle Market.

By the 1850s the wood yard had become a smithy. Blacksmiths subsequently practised their trade here for more than a century, until the 1970s, when the premises were described as a workshop.

Originally named Black Shiels Road, Newmills Road leads to Newmills Bridge, built by Thomas Brown, in 1755. The old mills, dating from the 12th century, were downstream from the present bridge and were grain mills. The new mills, recorded on Leslie’s Plan of 1770, were in the crook of the river above the bridge.

Prints and text about Oliver Cromwell. 

The text reads: When Oliver Cromwell came to Scotland in 1650, he made Dalkeith his headquarters and housed his men and their horses in the Parish Church of St Nicholas on the High Street. The minister of the day decided it was best not to give sermons.

Cromwell’s leading officer, General Monck, was then appointed commander in Scotland, and the country was governed from Dalkeith Castle. After Cromwell’s death in 1658, the restoration of Charles II was masterminded by General Monck at Dalkeith.

Almost a century later, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ attempted to gain the throne for the Stuart dynasty. The prince spent two nights at Dalkeith, where he split his army into two divisions for the invasion of England.

A portrait of Anna Scott, Duchess of Buccleuth.

She was married at the age of 12 to the Duke of Monmouth, bastard son of King Charles II.

A photograph of John Anderson, Viscount Waverly, in 1946. 

Prints and text about Henry Dundas.

The text reads: The politician and statesman Henry Dundas (later 1st Viscount Melville) hailed from Dalkeith. He became Solicitor-General to Scotland, in 1766, and a few years after MP for the Midlothian constituency, which included his native town.

Dundas later held office as Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty. The town of Dundas in Canada is named after him.

Photographs and text about the Dalkeith Co-operative Society.

The text reads: The Dalkeith Co-operative Society was established in 1861, trading from these premises in High Street. In 1888 the society moved to the ‘People’s Palace’, as it became known, opposite the site of this Wetherspoon pub.

Built on the site of a brewery, the store was designed in the ‘Scotch Baronial’, or Tudor style, with a Flemish clock tower. The building was arranged around a central courtyard with stables, a host of different departments, and workshops upstairs.

On the opening day vast crowds turned out to see the society’s horses and delivery vans take part in a carnival parade. The Co-op sold its baronial premises in 1968, but maintained its presence in Dalkeith for a further twenty years.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: