The fascinating histories behind Edinburgh's Wetherspoon pubs

There are currently a little over half a dozen Wetherspoon pubs in Edinburgh and each of the buildings they are housed within has a story to tell.

Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 1:18 pm
Caley

While Tim Martin's Wetherspoon empire is often scoffed at for its relentless domination of Britain's pub market, the company deserves at least some praise for its ongoing policy of restoring historic properties and keeping local heritage alive. We take a look at each of Edinburgh's Wetherspoon pubs (plus one that is yet to open) and explore a little bit of their history.

Taking its name from its location, this large, food-serving watering-hole formerly housed the 2,000-seater Palace Picture House. The last filmed was screened here in 1966 and the building later became a snooker hall.
One of the more impressive Wetherspoon venues in the city, the Caley Picture House began life as a cinema in 1923. It also served as a popular music venue and night club before conversion into the current pub in 2014.
Situated on busy St John's Road, this is a pub that is seldom lacking patrons. In the late 17th century, one Lady Christian Nimmo murdered her lover at this spot and her ghost, the 'white lady', is said to haunt the area still.

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The cleverly-named Standing Order was originally built as the Union Bank of Scotland to the designs of David Bryce in the 1870s. Remnants of its fiscal heritage remain throughout the rather cavernous and opulent interior.
One of two Wetherspoon establishments on George Street, The Alexander Graham Bell is of course named after the inventor of the telephone. The legendary scientist was born round the corner at South Charlotte Square in 1847.
Filled during the day with rail travellers, the Booking Office is situated between the two main entrance ramps at Waverley Station. As the name suggests, the building once operated as the station booking office.
One of the newest Wetherspoon pubs in Edinburgh, The Playfair is named due to its proximity to a number of key New Town buildings by the famous 19th century architect William Henry Playfair.
In April of this year Wetherspoon announced a 2.5m bid to open up a new 'superpub' in the former Classic cinema (latterly Empire Bingo) building on Nicolson Street. The move is expected to create up to 100 new jobs with capacity for 400.