Origin of Name: Long-stone with emphasis on the stone was how the name was originally pronounced. It is said to come from a huge stone that lay near the Murray Burn.
Slateford comes from an ancient river crossing the slatey rock ford
Position: Surrounded by Craiglockhart to the south, Wester Hailes to the west, Sighthill to the north and Saughton & Hutchison/Chesser to the East. See map above.
Historical notes: There is evidence of bronze age activity in the area and Corstophine loch once covered part of Slateford/Longstone. In 1095 King Duncan II gifted the parish of Hailes, of which Slateford/Longstone was a part, to the monks of Dunfermline abbey who eventually feued the land out in two estates – easter and wester Hailes. The village of Longstone was first referenced on a map in 1812 but was originally further west. It was the home of quarrymen who worked in the Hailes quarry and lived mainly in the village of Hailes which was near present day Kingsknowe but some lived in Dumbrydan or near the present Longstone Crescent. With the expansion of the quarry, which is now a park, in the late 1800s the village of Hailes was abandoned and the present Longstone began to grow.
There was industry in the area going back to the middle ages due to the power of the river. The first quarry for building stone was opened in the 17th century – now Dovecot park but there were also 5 mills, some going back to the 1500s.
There is little left of the old village of Slateford as road widening in the 1950s and 1960s took away a lot of the old cottages. Slateford House and the church next door (no longer a church) are left, as is the old Cross Keys pub – still in business. The old school is now the water of Leith conservation trust headquarters and the old police station is a hairdressers and house.
Today: The area is mainly flats both council and private but also some terraced housing. In Kingsknowe there are some large private villas and also at Redhall, some military housing. The Water of Leith conservation trust has lots of information on the river today and in the past. The aqueduct carrying the canal over the river was completed in 1822 and is 60feet high. Redhall walled garden is a community project and training garden with many unusual features designed by people recovering from mental health problems. There are some small businesses, Longstone Inn, a Jehovahs Witness hall and an LRT bus depot. Slateford had a train station that connects Edinburgh to Glasgow
Did you know: In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie camped overnight at Slateford before marching into Edinburgh
Slateford railway station opened in 1853 and is still a working passenger station
Longstone/Slateford has a strong community council and was one of the first in Edinburgh – started in 1980.
The Inglis family owned a large part of the area and George Inglis started a bleaching and cloth printing business in 1733 hence the name Inglis Green Road.
The name Kingsknowe dates from 1650s when a man called William King had a farm in the area. Farm steadings were demolished in 1964 to make way for the flats there and the Kingsknowe Roadhouse stands on the site of the farmhouse.
Links : http://www.community-council.org.uk/Longstone/