Definitions

gowk

Gogar

Gogar is a rural exurb of Edinburgh, Scotland, located to the west of the city. It is not far from Gogarloch, Edinburgh Park and Maybury. The Fife Circle Line is to the north of the city.

History

The name of Gogar first appears on a map in 1233. It may be derived from "cog" or "gowk", an Old Lowland Scots term for cuckoo, a bird with known ritual significance in ancient times, or from the Brythonic term for red, "coch" (cf "Red Heughs" in the vicinity).

There are several standing stones and hill fort sites of ancient origin in the vicinity. Gogar was the site of a medieval village, Nether Gogar, which has long since disappeared, although the small Gogar Kirk (church) still stands as a reminder of the village it once served. The church dates from the 12th century; while the present building was mostly rebuilt by J. A. Williamson between 1890-1, the 16th century south transept is still intact. The church fell out of use by 1602 and was thereafter used as a mausoleum. It is currently a cabinet-maker's workshop.

On 27 August 1650, a skirmish took place around Gogar between the forces of Oliver Cromwell and General Leslie, who was camped in the area around Gogar Kirk. While the marshy ground prevented the opposing sides meeting at close quarters, both sides fired cannon upon the other inflicting minor casualties.

In 2003, medieval remains were discovered near the site of the new headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Pottery shards, rubbish pits, and animal bones were unearthed north of the A8, opposite the bank's headquarters. The items suggest the site was used for agriculture in medieval times. The new bank HQ is highly controversial, particularly as many see it as a precedent for more construction in the Green Belt.

In 2005, the new headquarters of the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency was opened in farmland bordering the M8.

Notable buildings

There are a number of large 18th century and 19th century villas in the area - including Gogarbank, Over Gogar, and Gogar Park House. The most notable historical building is probably Castle Gogar, an A-Listed Scottish Baronial L-plan mansion. It was built in 1625 by the master architect William Ayton for John Cowper, whose father had bought the estate in 1601. The castle replaced an earlier building of 14th century origin, traces of which can be found in the castle's foundations. Another important historic building is Millburn Tower, a mansion with extensive wooded grounds. It has a castellated keep (built 1806), with a long range of lower building attached.

See also

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