Edinburgh skaters on a frozen Union Canal at Craiglockhart in 1950.
Edinburgh skaters on a frozen Union Canal at Craiglockhart in 1950.

Edinburgh's Craiglockhart: 24 pictures from the 1950s and 1960s that show what life was like in the popular residential area of the Capital

It has a fascinating history dating back centuries – and there was certainly plenty going on in Craiglockhart 50 years ago.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 4:47 pm

There is evidence of human inhabitation of the Craiglockhart area from prehistoric times – with the vitrified fort at the top of Wester Craiglockhart Hill built thousands of years ago and re-occpied during Roman times.

It wasn’t until the 13th century that the name is first mentioned, coming from combining Craig, meaning ‘rock’, with the name of prominent local landowning family Loccard.

They later changed their name to Lockhart and built Craiglockhart Castle – now ruined – in the 15th century.

Redhill was another castle in the area, owned by lawyer Adam Otterburn in the 16th century and demolished 200 years later, with the stone used to build Redhall House, now abandoned.

In Victorian times the village was a centre of medicine, with prominent buildings including the City Hospital, the Royal Edinburgh Asylum, the City Poorhouse, and Craiglockhart Hydropathic Institution – which was used to treat soldiers with shell-shock in the First World War, including poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.

Today, much of the land formerly taken up by hospitals is used by Napier University, with the Hydropathic Institution forming part of the Business School.

Craiglockhart only became officially part of Edinburgh in 1920, with residential developments following soon after, largely consisting of bungalows and detached houses around the Wester and Easter Craiglockhart Hills.

Today it is an in-demand place to live with a mixture of tarraced and detached housing, ranging from Victorian to modern properties.

It’s also home to Craiglockhart Tennis Centre which host international tennis competitions and was where a pre-fame Sir Andy Murray used to train.

Here are 24 pictures to take you back to the area in the 1950s and 1960s.

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