Ratho

The village of Ratho

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Ratho is a village which lies to the west of Edinburgh. Formerly in the old county of Midlothian it is now administered by Edinburgh City Council. Newbridge and Kirkliston are other villages in the area. The Union Canal passes through Ratho. Edinburgh Airport is situated only 4 miles (7 km) away. It is believed that the name Ratho comes from Rathach, Scottish Gaelic for a place where there is an old fort. On the pre-1800s maps Ratho is referred to as Rathue or Rathua. In 1817 Ratho is separated into "Ratho" (the main village) "Ratho byers" "ratho bank" and "Ratho house" (different from ratho hall)

Ratho is the site of stone age circles, carved into the rocks. There was also a witches stone, which held many legends. When the stone was moved by the land owner for farming, it was believed evil spirits were released into the village.

There are a number of old buildings in the area. The most prominent of these was Haltoun House or castle (sometimes spelt Hatton), which was badly damaged by fire in the mid-1950s and subsequently taken down. This magnificent country house evolved from its central core, a Norman keep, or what Scots call a Pele Tower. In 1371 the manor and lands of Hatton passed to Alan de Lawedre [Lauder] of that Ilk who then resided mostly at Whitslaid Tower just outside Lauder. Hatton Castle was damaged during the House of Douglas troubles of 1452, when a note in the Treasurers' Accounts show funds being provided for its repair. The Haltoun estates remained in the Lauder family until the latter half of the 17th century when they passed by marriage to Charles Maitland, 3rd Earl of Lauderdale who enlarged and beautified Hatton House.

The largest indoor climbing centre in Europe, and one of the biggest in the world, opened in October 2004, near Ratho, on the bank of the Union Canal. It boasts 2,400m