Origin of Name: Originally called Lestal-Rig the name means a boggy field but the name became Restalrig over time. Lochend was part of the lands of Restalrig at the loch end.
Position: Leith to the north & west Craigentinny to east and Meadowbank & Northfield to the south. See map above.
Historical Notes: The legend of St Triduna dates from around the 5th century and tells of the holy virgin, a Greek girl, who was pursued by Nectan King of the Picts who wanted her for his wife. She tore out her eyes and sent them to him on a skewer. She settled in the Restalrig area where she used the waters of the well now known as St Triduna's to heal the blind. The well itself is believed to have been built around the 1430s by the Logan family, who as Barons of Restalrig, were the most powerful family in the area.
There is mention in charters of a church at Lestalrig dating back to 1178. In 1560 the church was destroyed and not rebuilt until 1836 but it did incorporate a few features of the early church.
Around 1604 the Logans, owners of the lands, sold part of the estate to Lord Balmerino and the Craigentinny part to James Nisbet an Edinburgh merchant. The areas changed hands again over the centuries. In 1857 F.Groome in the ordnance gazetteer of Scotland described Restalrig as “a decayed village.
The area was mostly farmland and dairies but around 1925 public housing was built to the north and east. New building continued over the following decades and Restalrig House with its entrance at Restalrig Drive/Restalrig Road South was demolished in 1963.
Lochend at the western end of the lands has the loch and Lochend Castle of which only a small part remains. It was the seat of the Logan family but was largely destroyed in the late 16th century. It was incorporated into Lochend House in the 19th century.
Today: Restalrig is mainly public housing and private tenement flats. There is some private housing around the old Restalrig village which still has a few historic buildings. Lochend is mainly council housing built in the 1930s. The loch is still there, although made shallower in the 1950s, and is within Lochend park. There is also a doocot remaining from the old castle within the park.
Did You Know: The first British manned hot air balloon, in 1784, landed in Restalrig after taking off from Abbeyhill.
The Bunch O' Roses pub in Restalrig village is so called because in the days when men worked at the railway works, they would sometimes pop in when they were supposed to be working. Their bosses also did the same so the landlord would place a bunch of roses in the window to warn the men it wasn't safe to come in. The pub was originally called the Old Inn.
St Triduna's well originally had 2 storeys – the upper was a chapel and the lower was the well where people came to bathe their eyes. It was severely damaged during the reformation in 1560 but the remaining lower storey was renovated in 1907.
The doocot in Lochend park is believed to have been used in the mid 1600s to burn the clothes of plague victims.