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Colinton village.

Colinton is a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland situated 6 kilometres south west of the city centre. It is bordered by Juniper Green to the west.



Sited by a steep-sided glen on a convenient fording point on the Water of Leith, Colinton's history dates back to before the 11th century.

Close to the Water of Leith is Colinton Parish Church, originally founded as the Church of Halis (Hailes) around 1095 by Elthelred, third son of Malcolm III and Queen Margaret. The nearby 15th century Colinton Castle, in the grounds of what is now Merchiston Castle School, was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell during his invasion of Scotland. Following repair, the castle was subsequently partially demolished by the artist Alexander Nasmyth in order to create a picturesque ruin.

Other notable figures with connections to Colinton include Robert Louis Stevenson who is known to have been a regular visitor to the village whose grandfather was also the Parish Minister in the Village, plus the philanthropist James Gillespie and architects Sir Robert Rowand Anderson and John James Burnet,[1] who all lived in the village. A number of innovative Arts and Crafts style cottages were also constructed in the village in the early 1900s by the architect Sir Robert Lorimer. Between 1909 and 1915, the War Office constructed Redford Barracks to the east of the village. The barracks represent the largest military installation built in Scotland since Fort George in the Highlands and they provide military accommodation, together with offices and training facilities.

The village was the location for numerous mills producing textiles, snuff, and paper. It is thought that the first banknotes produced by the Bank of Scotland were printed on paper manufactured in Colinton. The Caledonian Railway Company constructed a new spur line connecting Slateford and Balerno in 1874, which included the creation of a new station at Colinton. This line continued to carry passenger traffic until 1943, and finally closed when the carriage of freight was discontinued in the 1960s.

Colinton today

The Water of Leith in Colinton Dell.

Today, Colinton is a suburb in Edinburgh. The original heart of Colinton is still referred to as "Colinton Village", retaining much of its original village charm with numerous small speciality shops (such as Knights Cafe, Fanelli's Delicatessen, Colinton Arts and Dean's store) and original buildings remaining intact. The tranquility of the Water of Leith and nearby Colinton Dell, just to the north of the "village", contribute to this perception.

The Dell extends along the Water of Leith Walkway from Colinton Parish Church towards Slateford, and contains a mixture of mature and ancient woodland. It is a natural habitat for wildlife, including numerous bird species, amphibians, voles, weasels, stoats and occasionally roe deer. The walkway and cycle path also pass by some of the original mill buildings, not forgetting the old tunnel (locally known as Henry's Tunnel, in reference to the character from popular children's TV series, Thomas the Tank Engine) that dates back to when the path was part of the local railway line.

Colinton is a designated conservation area and is bordered by the Edinburgh City Bypass and Juniper Green to the south west, the Wester Hailes estate to the north west and Oxgangs to the east. It is served by Bonaly Primary School, Merchiston Castle School (an independent school formerly in Merchiston) and Firrhill High School locally, whilst a large number of schoolchildren commute to the independent schools The Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner school, George Watson's College and George Heriot's School.

Spylaw Park is a delightful park situated in the beautiful surroundings of the dell. The park has many features including benches, bins, paths and a children's play area. There is also a large Victorian style house, situated near to the Spylaw entrance, along with a one-story building which is utilised by many local groups (Including Beavers, Cubs and Scout groups). Although the parks official seating capacity is only 30, it has been known for large crowds to gather in the standing area for larger-scale public and private events.

The major route to the city centre, Colinton Road, runs from Colinton through Craiglockhart to Holy Corner, a part of Burghmuirhead between Morningside and Bruntsfield. Along the road are a number of significant Victorian and Edwardian villas, some of which were designed by Edward Calvert.


See also Transport in Edinburgh

The following bus routes, operated by Lothian Buses pass through Colinton village, and the surrounding roads:

Famous residents

See also

These areas are sometimes taken to be parts of Colinton, or to be neighbouring areas in their own right:

External links


  1. ^ JJ Burnet retired to 55 Woodhall Road where he died in 1938"Three cottages, Woodhall Road". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 

Coordinates: 55°54′30″N 3°15′00″W / 55.90833°N 3.25°W / 55.90833; -3.25



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