Edinburgh Past And Present - The Edinburgh Website

Old Town Canongate Manse-2010a


This is a former laird's house built in the early 1700s with two storeys and wings which were added later in the same century. The building was restored in 1958 and again in 2002. It became a manse in 1951 and was a kindergarten before that.

Old Town Whitefoord House-2010a


Once the site of a mansion known as Lord Seton's Lodging where Henry, Lord Darnley, stayed in 1565 when he arrived in Edinburgh to marry Mary Queen of Scots. The current mansion was built in 1769 for Sir John Whitefoord and he died in the house in 1803. It then became home to Sir William Bannatyne, a noted judge, and he died in the house in 1833. Around 1850 the mansion was used as a foundry. In 1910 it became a home for veterans of war and is still used for that purpose today. In 1926 the first Lady Haig poppy factory was established and residents made poppies for sale to aid their fellow ex servicemen.

Old Town High St Moubray J Know-2010a


Edinburgh's oldest house, it was built in 1477 by Robert Moubray although a lot of the building and the frontage dates from the early 1600s. It was a bookshop and a tavern in the 18th century. Around 1710 it was home to Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe who edited the newspaper Edinburgh Courant. It is currently privately owned but after renovation work will be handed over to Historic Scotland who plan to turn it into a visitor attraction. Shown on the left of the photo next to John Knox's house.

Old Town Acheson House-2012a


Built in 1633 for Sir Archibald Acheson, a secretary of state for Scotland during the reign of Charles I. In the latter 1700s it was subdivided into flats and in the early 1800s was used as a brothel which was known as the cock and trumpet after the Acheson family crest above the door. In the latter 20th century it was used as the Scottish Crafts Centre but lay empty after they moved in 1991. In 2011 it underwent extensive repairs and is now offices for Edinburgh World Heritage.

Old Town Gladstones land-2010 (1)a


Originally built around 1550 the building was bought in 1617 by Thomas Gledstanes, a merchant, who refurbished and extended it out over the pavement on two arches. It accommodated some well to do tenants and he and his family lived in one of the flats. By 1934 it was a slum, the ground floor having been a dairy shop and a bar (which lasted until the 1950s). The National Trust took ownership and began restoring the building. It is now open to the public to offer a glimpse of 17th century living.

New Town Gardners Cottage-2010a

GARDNER'S COTTAGE- Royal Terrace Gardens

WH Playfair was the architect behind Regent, Royal and Carlton Terraces in the 1820s and also designed the Gardener's Cottage which was built in 1836. The gardens were for the exclusive use of residents of Royal and Carlton Terraces and were once surrounded by railings and locked at night. During WWII the railings were taken away to be melted down and reused but were never put back. It lay derelict for many years but in 2012 was opened as a restaurant.

New Town Rock House-2010 (1)a

ROCK HOUSE - Calton Hill

A late 18th century house with a 19th century extension, Rock House was known as a photographers house from 1843 until 1945. There was a studio in the garden but a later building from 2002 stands on the site. Robert Adamson was the first to establish a studio along with David Octavius Hill. It is now in private ownership.

New Town Gardners CottageP St-2010a

GARDNER'S COTTAGE - West Princes Street Gardens

Built in 1886 by Robert Morham and owned by the council. It is still used as a base for the park rangers.