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A History of the Craigleith Hill District

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How Craigleith Hill Estate Evolved

There were no published maps of any kind of Edinburgh before 1540. Between 1540-1750 only sketch-maps and views of the city were available. Various good maps and plans came from private surveys between 1750-1855. After 1885 came the Ordanance survey followed by exact maps. Each map below shows how the estate progressed. Maps from the 1700s show a large house - almost certainly Craigleith Hill House. Click on a year to open a map.

1700 » 1750 » 1766 » 1828 » 1834 » 1855 » 1860 »
1888 » 1894 » 1913 » 1919 » 1931 » 1933 » 1947 »

One interpretation of 'Craigleith' was - 'A hill from which Leith could be seen'.
In Stuart Harris's book 'The Place Names of Edinburgh', he suggests that the name Craigleith was recorded from 1171 onwards as lands of Crag of or at Inverleith and may have developed from the estate name CRAG, derived from the British hill name creg, a rock.

Development Timeline
Year Event
1615 Quarry first mentioned in 1615 as Innerleith or Enderleith
1646 James Rochead bought Craigleith from Sir John Nisbet of Dean
1695 A Lady Craigleith mentioned along with Katherine Rochead, Laird of Prestongrange, Sir James Rochead and son James Rochead all mentioned in Court Papers
1733 Marked on map as Craig Leith
1745 Marked on map "Craigs"
1766 Craigleith shown as a dwelling with plots of land marked.
1786 Wm Ramsay of Barnton bought estate, ( Drylaw House) including Western and Eastern Drylaw Farms, Groathill farm, House of Hill Farm including Craigleith Quarry.
1790 Barnton estate merged with Kings Cramond Estate
1800s Ramsay Cottage built (159 Craigleith Road)
1817 Shows a Craigleith Park, Craigleith Hill and Craigleith House.
1821 Map shows a Stone quarry, Craigleith Park, Bonar Esq., and Craigleith Ramsay.Esq., both depicting large houses.
1828 Shepherds engraving of Craigleith Quarry
1829 Fossil Tree discovered in Craigleith Quarry
1830 Map shows a Craigleith Park, Craigleith, tolls and two houses.
1834 Marked on map as Craigleith showing tolls and quarry
1850 Caledonian railway line opened for goods and minerals
1861 Hugh Cleland was a smith at Craigleith Quarry (more info to follow)
1866/68 St Cuthberts Poorhouse built
1867/68 Caledonian railway line opened for passengers and Craigleith Station opened
1879 Barnton Terrace built(Now part of Craigleith Road)
1885 Powder magazine building next to Maidencraig quarry
1888 Barnton railway not yet built. Many pathways into Craigleith Hill House.
1894 Victoria Hospital opened. Royal patronage given 1913
1894 Caledonian railway line extended to Barnton and Craigleith Station opened March 1st 1894.
1900 Craigleith Quarry almost worked out.
1902 West Barnton Terrace (now part of Craigleith Road) built by Adam Currie and Sons. Two stone plaques on front of buildings show date 1902 and builders logo A C & S.
1905 Only 25 workers employed at quarry.
1915 The quarry used by Lothian County Council manufacturing T.N.T.
1919 Map shows Craigleith Hill House. Groathill Road going under railway line and onto Groathill. Does not meet up with Telford Road yet.
1925 Telford Road built
1932/33 Craigleith Hill Avenue - 150 houses built. Named in 1930
1932/33 Craigleith Hill Crescent - 104 houses built. Named in 1931
? Craigleith Hill Crescent - 4 houses built.
1932/33 Craigleith Hill Gardens - 76 houses built. Named in 1930
1932/33 Craigleith Hill Green - 25 houses built. Named in 1932
1932/33 Craigleith Hill Grove - 10 houses built. Named in ?
1932/33 Craigleith Hill Loan - 22 houses built. Named in 1932
1932/33 Craigleith Hill Park - 47 houses built. Named in 1932
1932/33 Craigleith Hill Row - 10 houses built. Named in 1932
1940s Resident (Mr.D.Fraser) living in Craigleith Hill Row states that between his house and the quarry was Craigleith Hill House . On some plans it is named as Craigleith Park.
1941/42 All work seems to have stopped in quarry.
1949 Plan shows Craigleith Hill House, Craigleith Hospital, Craigleith Quarry , Craigleith Childrens Home, Victoria Hospital, West Barnton Terrace, Barnton Terrace. C. H. Park, Craigleith Hill and a few house in the Crescent have still to be built.
1951 Craigleith Station closes.
1963 Craigleith Hill - 46 houses built. Named in 1964
196? Craigleith Garage built.
1963/69 Craigleith Station demolished.
1968 Craigleith Road (Barnton Terrace and West Barnton Terrace became unified in name). Lane at back of houses on North side of Craigleith Road now known as Barnton Terrace Lane.
1975/76 Miller Group built HQ in North part of the quarry
1976 Craigleith Hill Park - 33 houses built
1979 Millers Yard (North quarry )Landfill 9 Waste type=Inert Status = closed 31/12/1979 (City Of Edinburgh Council)
1985 Gas Board (Main Quarry)Landfill 8 Type =inert=Closed 31/12/1985 ( City of Edinburgh Council)
1992 71b Craigleith Hill Crescent built (1 house built)
1992 11a,b,c Craigleith Hill Park built - 3 houses built
1993 Sainsbury's purchase the southern half of the Quarry and proceed to build their Supermarket, Station,children's play park and surrounding car park.
1995 The northern half of the quarry site is owned by Henderson Property Investors and administered on their behalf by Savills Commercial Ltd of George Street. There are 12 retail units on the site already.
2005 Hendersons bought the Millers site (2004) and are developing a further 6 retail units on the site and opened in 2006
2009 to 2011 Craigleith Retail Park now renamed THE QUARRY The shopping complex consists of Sainsbury's with petrol filling station, Mamas and Papas, Boots, Argos, Curry's ,TK Maxx, Homebase, Sports, M&S, Clarks, New Look,Next, Burtons and KFC.

The latest additions,Costa Coffee and Trespass(outdoor clothing) were opened in 2010 and 2011.

In 2011, The Quarry was renamed "The Craigleith Shopping Park"
2012 to 2020 Now named "The Craigleith Retail Park". Entered by South Groathill Avenue next to Sainsbury's fuel station or just after traffic lights at the west end of craigleith road.

2018 - As of 3rd September 2018,the following shops were open. Currys/PC World, New Look, Trespass, Costa Coffee,Clarks, Nike Factory Store, Homebase, TK Maxx, Home Store & More, Pets at Home, Boots and Boots Optician, Card Factory, Starbucks Coffee, Sainsbury's (including Argos and Habitat), Timpsons cabin outside Sainsbury's, We buy Any Car cabin in car park.

Toys R Us is now closed following the business going into administration.