Origin of name: Most likely known originally as “Craig-loch-ard” and refers to Corstorphine loch – a large body of water that once extended to the north of the Craiglockhart estate
Position: Hutchison/Chesser and Slateford to the north, Morningside to the south, Colinton and Colinton Mains to the west and Merchiston to the east. See map above.
Historical notes: The earliest evidence of humanity in the area is the iron age forts on top of Wester Craiglockhart Hill. There is little to see today as they were damaged badly in the Second World War by gun placements. The Locharts of Lee are recorded as owning the lands of Craiglockhart from around 1250 until 1324 when the lands passed to John of Cowie. The ruins at the side of Glenlockhart Road are known as Craiglockhart Castle but little is known about this. It is believed to be a 13th century keep associated with the Lochart family. There were several other owners of the lands but in 1773 they were purchased by Dr Alexander Monro, chair of anatomy in Edinburgh Medical School. Dr Monro lived in St Andrew Square but built a cottage on the estate and also planted the trees on Easter Craiglockhart Hill. His son, also Dr Alexander Monro, built Craiglockhart House in 1823 and he was responsible for tree planting in what is now Craiglockhart Dell. There is some uncertainty about who built the 2 grottoes in the Dell but according to a council report from 2007 they were built around 1760 by the gardener of Redhall estate but were incorporated into Craiglockhart estate when it was bought by the Munros. On Dr Monro's death in 1859 the estate passed to the Parochial Board who built a new city poorhouse on part of the estate. The rest of the lands were sold to the Craiglockhart Estate Company who began building villas – the first being on Colinton Road under Easter Craiglockhart Hill. Some acres were feued to the company that built the Craiglockhart Hydropathic. In 1915 the villas were extending down Colinton Road but also at Lockharton Gardens. There were 2 houses on Craiglockhart Avenue. In 1925 Craiglockhart Drive and Loan were built but most of the housing was built in the 1930s.
Today: Craiglockhart is an area of private housing – mainly villas but with some flats. It has many sporting facilities such as the tennis and leisure centre at the Happy Valley, so called because of the many facilities on offer. The pond beside the centre used to be used for boating, skating and curling. There is also Boroughmuir Rugby Club at Meggetland and new sporting facilities next door. Napier University has 2 campuses in the area and there are many great walks, from climbing the 2 hills to Craiglockhart Dell and the Union Canal.
Did You Know: The large building that is now Napier Craiglockhart Campus started life as Craiglockhart Hydropathic - built in 1880. It was a Victorian health farm combining electricity and hydropathy in order to improve health. It became a military hospital during WWI for officers suffering nervous disorders. It was here that two famous poets met – Siegfried Sasson and Wilfred Owen. This meeting was made into a film called Regeneration (1997) set at the Hydropathic. In 1920 the building was sold to the Society of the Sacred Heart and became a convent before becoming a training college for Roman Catholic teachers. In 1987 the Napier Craiglockhart campus was opened by Margaret Thatcher.
Building at North Meggetland began in the 1980s on land that from the 1920s was known as University Athletic Field. In the 1940s there were tennis courts half way down on the left.
Meggetland House used to be where Meggetland Terrace is now. It was demolished sometime in the 1930s.
In the late 1800s/early 1900s there was a fever hospital beside the Meggetland playing fields behind Slateford Station. This is the same area that is lying vacant at the moment.
Craiglockhart Community Council: http://www.craiglockhart.btck.co.uk/
War Poets at Craiglockhart: http://sites.scran.ac.uk/Warp/history.htm