Origin of Name: Named in honour of Sir George Warrender's wife who was a descendant of the Earl of Marchmont
Position: The Meadows and Bruntsfield Links to the north, Sciennes to the east, Bruntsfield to the west and The Grange to the south. See map above.
Historical Notes: The area was once part of the old Burgh Muir but in 1381 King Robert II granted a charter of the lands of Bruntsfield to Alan de Lawdre. The previous owner had been Richard Broune, King's Sergeant of the Burgh Muir. The name Broune gave rise to Brounisfield then Bruntisfield and finally Bruntsfield. The Lawdries' possessed the lands until 1603 when it was sold to John Fairlie of Braid then onto the Warrender family in 1695. Most of Marchmont is built on the Lands of Bruntsfield (interestingly, Bruntsfield isn't).
In 1869 Sir George Warrender, had plans drawn up to feu out part of his lands for building villas. This didn't happen but in 1876 new plans were drawn up to build expensive tenements on the whole of the estate. Work started straight away to turn the country estate into the rural area we know today and was completed in two phases. Phase 1 1878-1900 which saw the completion of Warrender Park Road & Marchmont Road and the streets to the north and east. Phase 2 1900-1914 saw plainer fronted buildings in Spottiswoode St/Rd, Lauderdale St and Arden St.
There is an area of present day Marchmont that wasn't part of Bruntsfield estate and that's the area bordered by Roseneath Street, Argyle Place, Roseneath Place and Meadow Place. There were 2 hamlets in that area dating back to at least 1622 – Westerhall (in the square bounded by Argyle Place and the Roseneath streets) and New Campbletown (which lay where Meadow Place is today ). There is nothing left of Westerhall but it was a place of large villas owned by the rich and influential.
Today: Marchmont is a desirable part of the city and is made up mainly of large tenements. Its popularity means that it's quite an expensive place to buy property. There is a fairly large population of students but also a larger active permanent population. There are a few local shops, cafes and bars and also James Gillespie's School, a Napier university Campus and Warrender Baths (opened in 1887) on Thirlestane Road.
Did You Know: The original name of the area was Warrender Park with Marchmont referring to just a few streets but by the early 20th century Marchmont had stuck as the area's name. The Park was added to Warrender as it was fashionable in Victorian times.
There are a few very old quarries in the area and this caused some problems when building began. Warrender Park Terrace had to have its foundations strengthened and the west side of Marchmont Road (1890) is ten years younger than the east side as so much work had to be done in settling the foundations.
There are a few anomalies in some street names eg Warrender Park Road was built in 1878 on estate land but the other side of the road was built in 1897 after Westerhall was demolished. That side is called Roseneath Street. Check the street signs today. Roseneath Place and Marchmont Crescent are on opposite sides of the same road too.
Marchmont (& Sciennes) Community Council