View towards Pentlands

17th Century Calder

Historically the areas we now know as Mid Calder and West Calder were called Calder Comitis, the area referred to as Calder in the kirk session minutes of the time.

In the 17th century Calder was a large, sparsely populated rural parish about 15 miles west of Edinburgh. 

Much of the area was farmland, moorland {Calder Muir} and forest {Calder Wood} owned by a small number of wealthy men, Heritors, who rented farms and pockets of land to their tenants. Ordinary people were dependent on the Heritors for their livelihoods.

Noble families had a great deal of power and influence in the community and in Calder the most influential family were the Sandilands. The head of the Sandilands family was known by the title Lord Torphichen. On 7th November 1637, upon his father’s death, John Sandilands became the 5th Lord Torphichen but as he was still a child his uncle, Sir William Sandilands, served as his representative using the title Tutor of Torphichen. Calder House at in Mid Calder is still home to the Sandilands family.