IT MAY not be as famous as its next door neighbour, but Inverleith Park has provided an oasis of greenery in the heart of Edinburgh for more than a century.
The attractive inner suburb of Inverleith commands some of the most expensive property prices anywhere in the country.
The area’s popularity is boosted by the extensive landscaped parkland on its doorstep.
It was first transformed in 1820 when the Royal Botanic Garden relocated from Leith Walk to a site adjacent to Inverleith Row, where it has remained ever since.
The local greenspace was further enhanced in 1889 when South Inverleith Mains Farm was purchased by the town council from the Rocheid family, which had owned the wider Inverleith estate since the 17th century.
Fields soon became 54 acres of parkland, and the area was renamed Inverleith Park and opened to the public.
The new park boasted an ornamental pond, tree-lined avenues, extensive space for allotments and playing fields for local sports teams - all of which survive today.
The Cockburn Association, founded in 1875 to protect Edinburgh’s architectural heritage, registered its approval in 1891 of Inverleith’s opening.
“The city is to be congratulated on the acquisition and opening of this magnificent park which will form in all time coming, and however the city may extend, an open space of unrivalled beauty.”
A Friends of Inverleith Park group was formed in 2002 and became a registered charity in 2006.
It now has a membership of around 300 and actively campaigns for the protection and enhancement of the parkland.
Inverleith hosts a variety of community gatherings throughout the year, as well as occasionally hosting prestigious commercial events such as Taste of Edinburgh.
The views of the wider city are another of the park’s major selling points. People congregate in their hundreds to enjoy the annual firework displays at Edinburgh Castle to mark New Year and the end of the Edinburgh festival.
It’s little wonder Inverleith is held in such affection by so many.