Origin of Name: Originally called Muttonhole. The origin is unknown but could refer to the sheep that were kept in the area before being taken to market in Edinburgh. Renamed Davidson's Mains around 1850 after the Davidson family who owned Muirhouse mansion.
Position: Silverknowes to the north, Barnton to the west, Blackhall to the south and Drylaw to the east. See map above.
Historical Notes: Records show that Muttonhole village existed in 1699 but it would have existed long before then. It was a farming community with a number of dairies and piggeries but at one time was part of the Muirhouse estate and the farmhouse stood roughly where The Green is today. Marchfield farm was sited between Corbiehill Road and Quality Street. House O' Hill farm stood between House O' Hill Brae and Grove. It was demolished in 1936.
In 1832 the Davidson's Mains Water Trust was formed by the villagers who were allowed to lay pipes from water springs on Corstophine Hill to the village well which can still be seen at the entrance to Davidson's Mains park. Previously they walked across land owned by the Barnton estate and the owners objected.
The main road to Cramond Brig and South Queensferry ran through the village but in 1823 this was closed and a new section of road built to the south. This certainly helped to preserve the character of the village. However the coming of the railway (to Barnton) in 1894 started an expansion which over the following decades turned the village into the pleasant suburb of today.
Today: A desirable area of mainly houses with few flats. There are local shops and facilities as well as a large chain supermarket. There is a bowling club formed in 1899, a children's gala day (started 1932) held each June and Davidson's Mains park
Did you know: In the mid 19th century there was a fairly large Irish population in the village so St Margarets Roman Catholic church was built. The present St Margarets was built in 1952 about 50 yards west of the original.
The Village Inn bar was at one time called Muirhouse Arms. It changed its name to MacKenzie's after barman James MacKenzie who started in 1925, bought the bar in 1932 and retired in 1965
Davidson's Mains park is actually in Barnton. It was at one time part of the Barnton House estate, the house long since demolished, and was bought by Edinburgh council in 1922.
http://www.dmsa.org.uk/ - Davidson's Mains & Silverknowes Association