A History of the Craigleith Hill District

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Page last updated: 06/08/2022

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Present Day Craigleith Quarry

The plan below is taken from an Edinburgh Council planning diagram circa 1980 and shows individual houses and the quarry before it was developed. Click the image to view full size.

Craigleith Quarry, as it is known, can be seen as two separate areas in the plan.
The area is split into the actual quarry where stone was quarried and the other part to the North which was occupied by quarriers house, workshops and a railway which fed into the quarry.
When Miller Homes purchased part of the quarry they used the extensive area for workshops and then built their headquarters to the West of the site on Groathill Road South. When the quarry was infilled, Sainsbury's purchased that part of the quarry and built their Supermarket/carpark and petrol station on the ground.

Continuing Development of the Quarry.

The first part was carried out by Sainsbury's starting in 1992. An aerial photo of the Quarry in 1995 shows the superstore and car park.

At the top of the picture can be seen James Millers Builders yard (top third of picture) which was further developed by Pets at Home, Homebase, Holiday Hypermarket, Textileworld, Curries, Boots, Argos, Mamas and Papas and KFC.
The headquarters of Millers (L shaped building) is situated just above the garage at middle left of the photo.

1st June 2006: Craigleith Retail Park renamed 'THE QUARRY'
This is much more fitting as it is located on top of Craigleith Quarry which supplied much of the sandstone for Edinburgh's older town and other famous buildings around the world.

11th July 2006
The statue of Lord Nelson (Trafalgar Square) was recently repaired (Nelson's left arm) using Craigleith sandstone. The stone was salvaged during the restoration of Donaldsons School for the Deaf in Edinburgh and was donated to the Nelson's Column restoration fund by Scottish company Watson Stonecraft.

Sainsburys own their store supermarket complex with car parking (South end) as well as the garage and childrens play park at the West side of the Park.

The North end of the quarry site including all other retail Units, including the latest units named above, are owned by Henderson UK Retail Warehouse Fund and is administered by FPD Savills International. 86 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 3DU.

For details of the Craigleith Shopping Park please go to the following link.

The Marks and Spencer store opened a large extension on Friday 22nd May 2009. They increased the ground floor space for food as well as clothing and an upper floor containing clothing etc as well as a cafeteria with outsatnding views across Edinburgh to the Ski slope.

Sainsbury's superstore opened their extension in October 2010 with an increase in retail floor space. The ground floor consists of food retail section, clothes and hardware. The upper floor contains the Early learning centre at the far end of a much enlarged restaurant.
Sainsburys store now contains within their supermarket store ARGOS and HABITAT units.

Over the years units have changed and retail park now has the following UNITS:


This photograph of THE QUARRY was taken on the 18th June 2008 from the Holiday Inn, which overlooks the retail park, and is shown in the picture above.
See also Photographs - Modern Day.

Photographs taken by Alan Ross