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Living in Rosewell: the local area guide

Rosewell is a pretty little village that lies between Penicuik and Loanhead in Midlothian. The village sits in the middle of some beautiful countryside, yet is within very easy reach of cosmopolitan Edinburgh, making it a great spot for commuters and those looking for a larger and more affordable home than they might be able to find in the Scottish capital.

Rosewell was once just a tiny hamlet, with a population of only 133 people in 1846, but by 1881 that had risen to over 2,000, thanks to the influx of Irish immigrants escaping the potato famine and looking for work. Coal baron Archibald Hood, who acquired the lease to the mine during the latter half of the 19th century, is the architect of modern Rosewell, building the neat terraced cottages and semi-detached villas for his workers, as well as the churches, school and general store, all of which still stand today.

The houses were built using fire-clay bricks from the local Whitehall Brickworks, giving them a distinctive character that marks Rosewell out from the surrounding villages. The village has grown slightly, with newer developments popping up at its fringes, but still retains a pleasant village feel.


Rosewell is a rare example of a place where the population has dropped during the 20th century: it currently stands at 1,566, significantly less than during its heyday as a mining centre at the end of the 19th century.

Now that Rosewell no longer has any industry to sustain it, most employed people leave the village to work in nearby Edinburgh or the surrounding villages, but residents are mindful of the need to keep community at the heart of village life.

The Rosewell Development Trust has been set up to improve social interaction and are currently in negotiations to develop a derelict site into a community hub.


The village has two primary schools, Rosewell Primary School and St Matthew’s RC Primary School, which have 89 and 22 pupils respectively. Rosewell Primary School is classed as ‘satisfactory’ and was praised for ‘high-quality and engaging learning experiences in the nursery class’ and the ‘clear-vision of the headteacher and enthusiasm of the staff’.

St Matthew’s RC Primary School was classed as mainly ‘good’, and ‘very good’ in some areas, with pupils who are ‘happy and enjoy learning’ and staff who ‘provide a very nurturing environment.

The village is within the catchment area for Lasswade High School, which is classed as being mainly ‘good’, with young people who ‘are well behaved, engage well in lessons and enjoy learning at school’.


Rosewell has good bus links, with services to Edinburgh running every half an hour during the early mornings and evenings – perfect for commuters – and every hour throughout the day in between. It’s a short half an hour journey to Edinburgh, where Waverley train station provides links to the rest of the country. Rosewell is a 20-minute drive from the first junction of the M8 and also a short hop from Edinburgh Airport, which has regular flights to cities with the UK, as well as further afield.

Amenities and shopping

Rosewell itself doesn’t have many shops, though M&D Stores and Rosewell Takeaway on Carnethie Street will take care of your most basic needs. For a proper shopping trip, you can easily reach Edinburgh, which has a world class selection of shops, restaurants, museums and attractions, and there is a good selection of popular supermarkets within a few minutes driving distance.

Rosewell is notable for having its own football club, Whitehill Welfare FC, which has its own ground and small pavilion, and teams for under 15s, under 20s and adults. The village also has a selection of mother and baby groups, various youth clubs, a Brownie pack, a community garden group and a bowling club, plus film nights are also regularly held at the parish church.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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