The Dean Tavern and the village of Newtongrange are inextricably
connected and I have attempted to record their joint history
side by side. It seemed appropriate to include a section
on the early history of coal mining in the area, as well
as a chapter on previous local drinking establishments.
There is even a chapter on the Bottom Shop!
I have often been asked how the Dean got its name and also
how Murderdean Road got its name. The two are connected
but I cannot claim to have solved the mystery. Murderdean
is the name of the burn that runs beside the road. The 'dean'
part of it is Anglo Saxon meaning a wooded valley. I had
a theory that the 'murder' part of it was a corruption of
Muirton, as there was a place near here called Muirtondean
in the 17th century, but now I am not so sure. It is certain
that the name of the first Lothian Coal Company housing
scheme, Deanpark, begun in 1898, was derived from Murderdean.
The first three houses in the scheme were set aside for
the Coal Company public house and it was named the Dean
Tavern after Deanpark.
Until 1900, the name of the village was written as two
separate words and I have used die form 'Newton Grange'
until that date and 'Newtongrange' thereafter. Of course,
'Nitten' is the local nickname for the village and has been
for a long time. An 18th century map calls the place 'Nooton',
maybe that is an early form of Nitten.
I have received enormous help and co-operation from the
people of Newtongrange in researching this book and I am
very grateful to everyone. A full list of acknowledgements
appears at the end of the book. I would particularly like
to thank Jim Green, Willie Yuill, Joe Gardiner, Jim Barton,
Bob Ross and Jim Reid for their help. The meticulous research
carried out by Mike Rottenly, when he worked at the Mining
Museum has proved invaluable. The maps used are reproduced
by permission of the National Library of Scotland. Extracts
from the Dalkeith Advertiser are reproduced by permission
of the British Library and Scottish County Press. Dalkeith.