Children watch a dog riding a scooter at the Craigmillar Park Summer Show in 1963.
Children watch a dog riding a scooter at the Craigmillar Park Summer Show in 1963.

Edinburgh's Craigmillar: 31 pictures from the 1950s and 1960s that show what life was like in the residential area

Despite it’s mainly modern housing stock, it has a fascinating history dating back centuries – and there was certainly plenty going on in Craigmillar 50 years ago.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 4:40 pm

Craigmillar Castle is the oldest building in the area, dating back to the late 14th century and occupied for more than 300 years, with the name thought to come from the Gaelic ‘creag maol ard’, meaning ‘high bare rock’.

The imposing edifice stood in the estate of the same name, which records show was purchased by Sir John Gilmour in 1660.

The proximity of the railway and local sources of clean water made Craigmillar an attractive location for the brewing industry, with seven breweries being built there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Craigmillar Brewery of William Murray & Co. Ltd was the first to be built in 1886, while the Drybrough's Brewery was the last to close in 1987.

Developers began building on ground purchased from the neighbouring Wauchope Estate in 1924, creating the Niddrie Mains Estate, while the Craigmillar Estate immediately below the castle was added in 1936.

In 2008 the area entered a period of regeneration headed up by Edinburgh City Council, which saw many of the dilapidated estates and tower blocks demolished in favour of new housing.

Today, the Scottish Government's ‘Green Quarter Plan’ proposes the creation of several new parks and woodland areas throughout the Craigmillar area, along with 3,200 affordable houses to rent and improved learning and leisure facilities for young people.

Here are 31 pictures to take you back to the Craigmillar of the 1950s and 1960s.

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