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The Dean Tavern - A Gothenburg Experiment


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.

Cover - Contents - Foreword - Introduction - Appendices - Photographs & Illustrations

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