Origin of Name: There is no evidence that the name is of ancient origin and would seem to have been given to the estate sometime after 1657.
Position: Fairmilehead to the south, Craiglockhart and Merchiston to the west, Grange and Liberton to the east and Bruntsfield/Greenhill to the south.
Historical notes: Morningside estate was created during the feuing of the Burgh Muir (land south of the Meadows) in 1586. This area comprised of, in modern terms, Albert Terrace to the north, Myreside to the west, Morningside Road to the east and the Jordan Burn(known outside the area as the Pow burn) to the south. The burn was the old city boundary until 1856 and today the burn is mostly underground and passes between Nile Grove and Jordan Lane. In 1657 the estate merged with another on the east side of Morningside Road ( formerly the Linton highroad). There were three very small villages in the area and only Morningside survives – Tipperlinn and Myreside were the other two. Morningside existed due to the agricultural land which surrounded it, the farms of Canaan, Egypt and Plewlands were close by. The first mention of Morningside on a map appears to be in 1759 and was in an area roughly between present day Cuddy Lane and Morningside Park. The village was an important stop for farmers on their way to Edinburgh and boasted at least 2 smiddys. There were dairy farms in the area and Reid's Dairy stood in the Springvalley Gardens/Terrace area. A village pub called the Volunteers Rest opened around 1800 and stood on the site the present day Canny Mans, built around 1890. Morningside House stood on the corner of Morningside Park/Road. Little is known of it except it was in existence in 1789 and around that time was the home of eccentric judge Lord Gardenstone. It has long since been demolished. A larger mansion house was Falcon Hall which stood in extensive grounds. Built in the early 1800s by Alexander Falconar probably on the site of the earlier Morningside Lodge it stood between Canaan Lane and Newbattle Terrace. It was demolished in 1909. The village began to expand in the early 1800s when farms such as Canaan were subdivided for building. Many wealthy Edinburgh citizens took advantage of the large plots to build their villas and with the coming of the railway in the 1880s the village began to expand into a city suburb, bursting out of the old city boundary with building at Braid and Cluny. It wasn't until the 1930s, however, that Greenbank saw villa building on a mass scale.
Today: A pleasant suburb with many large villas but also some tenements and more modest housing. There are plenty shops, both chain and local, mainly in Morningside Road. The Hermitage of Braid offers a pleasant walk and there is Braidburn Valley park complete with open air theatre. The Dominion is an independent cinema and the Royal Edinburgh hospital is on the site of the old Tipperlinn village
Did You Know: There are many interesting names in the area. In medieval times people believed that gypsies originated in Egypt. Council minutes in 1585 refer to Little Egypt beside the common muir suggesting gypsies had taken refuge from the city just outside the Burgh Muir. This land became Egypt farm and was situated roughly between the Braid burn and the Jordan burn. This ancient farm gave rise to other names with biblical connotations such as Canaan, Jordan and Nile.
When Falcon Hall was demolished in 1909 the facade was erected on the front of the new Bartholomew's maps building in Duncan Street, John Bartholomew being the last owner. The entrance pillars were erected in front of Edinburgh Zoo.
Plewlands and Greenbank were both farms. The name Plewland is a Scots measure of arable land and Greenbank a description of the place.
Links: http://www.morningside.org.uk/ Community Council