Euan McGrory: City's rich heritage deserves protection in Restalrig as well as on Royal Mile

When people talk about Edinburgh's fascinating history and its outstanding built heritage, they tend to think of just a handful of places.

Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:59 am

The Castle, the Royal Mile, the cobbled closes of the Old Town and the grand avenues of the New Town, all spring instantly to mind. It is natural enough in a city with such a rich history that the ‘big ticket’ attractions grab all the attention.

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The history of Edinburgh, however, is far more rich and varied than the vast majority of visitors - and even, if we are honest, most of us residents - really appreciate.

Did you know, for instance, that Britain’s first hot air balloon flight took off from Abbeyhill and landed in Restalrig? How about the story of how the Bunch o’ Roses in Restalrig got its name? The pub is named after a secret warning sign placed in the window to alert railway workers when it wasn’t safe for them to slip in for a fly pint.

These stories are just part of the reason that Restalrig has been declared the city’s 50th conservation area. The existing ones stretch from South Queensferry to Portobello and Balerno. The social history captured in these neighbourhoods thoroughly deserves to be celebrated and protected in this way.