Hidden secret: Grassmarket home with stunning views of Edinburgh Castle on sale for £295,000

A quirky home with priceless views in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town which feels like a traditional rural cottage is currently on sale.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 9:17 am

The Signal House is a bijou home set in a garden and with impressive, sweeping views.

Except in this case the priceless views are of Edinburgh Castle and the cottage’s setting is not some countryside idyll, but in a hidden corner of the Grassmarket, which is best known for looming tenements and its historic location as a marketplace.

Access to the secret courtyard where it is located is actually via a tenement stair door between two bookshops.

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The house is located in a hidden corner of Edinburgh's Old Town

Once inside the tenement, the rest of the building is served by one staircase, while another, private stairway leads to the two-floor cottage’s courtyard, which includes a shared garden area.

The cottage itself is a stone-built detached home with a private patio garden at the front. Inside it is a modern home, with a large double bedroom. However, possibly its most eye-catching feature is a living dining area with stunning views of nearby Edinburgh Castle.

The property also comes with planning permission to add a second bedroom with en-suite facilities and is being sold with the asking price starting at £295,000.

Katie Macdonald, director of property sales at Simpson & Marwick, the legal firm handling the sale, said: “The Signal House is an outstanding property and must be viewed in person to fully appreciate its value and character.

The cottage itself is a stone-built detached home with private patio garden at the front.

“We have been selling homes in Edinburgh for decades, so it’s not often we are surprised. However, the team here have all been amazed that such a quirky cottage is hidden away in a central location like this.

“The setting is remarkably tranquil and offers an unusual combination – easy access to everything the city centre has to offer, yet also an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

“This home has also been finished to an extremely high standard, with contemporary interiors and finishing touches which make it feel effortlessly stylish.”

The cottage is located in West Port, part of the city’s Old Town World Heritage area and is part of a Listed Building site known as Cordiner’s Land, named for leather workers and shoe makers who thrived there in the Middle Ages.

Edinburgh Castle can be seen from the house

At the time, the cordiners clustered around the western gate - now West Port - of the city’s historic Flodden Wall, parts of which are still visible in the area. Among the fragments of the original site which still remain is a decorative stone panel of the Cordiner’s Guild symbol – a half moon, a leather worker's knife and a crown

A number of theories exist to explain the name of the Signal House, the most likely being that it was an important link in a chain of signal fires used to pass on the alert when Edinburgh Castle was under threat.

A viewing appointment can be arranged through Simpson & Marwick property team on 0131 581 5711. Further information can be found on the firm’s website.

A message from the Editor:

A number of theories exist to explain the name of the Signal House, the most likely being that it was an important link in a chain of signal fires used to pass on the alert when Edinburgh Castle was under threat.

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The cottage is located in West Port