A History of the Craigleith Hill District

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Page last updated: 01/06/2015

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Ramsay Cottage

Built in 1735 and probably named after Wm Ramsay of Barnton estate who bought Drylaw House, Western and Eastern Drylaw Farms, Groathill farm, House of Hill Farm and Craigleith Quarry in 1786.

The house is known as Ramsay Cottage and was the Quarry masters house.

I have now obtained, from a relative (Gordon McIntosh), confirmation of his great-great-great-great grandfather, Quarry master James McIntosh, residing at Ramsay Cottage as Manager of Quarries & Stone, Merchant in Craigleith dated 5/5/1869. This was found in the list of wills courtesy of Scotland's People by Gordon McIntosh

159 Craigleith Road previously marked on maps as 41 Barnton Terrace
This 'grey stone built house', probably of Craigleith Sandstone, stands back and between the more modern built houses of the previously known West Barnton Terrace, on its west (built in 1902 by Adam Currie and Sons), and Barnton Terrace on its east, built pre 1855. The street was eventually renamed and renumbered Craigleith Road in 1968 to stop the confusion with the Barnton district which is separetd from the Craigleith district by Blackhall

The road was possibly named by Wm. Ramsay who owned the Barnton and Craigleith estates which included the Quarry.

Early map of 1855 showing Ramsay Cottage standing on its own. Barnton Terrace (bottom right) built pre 1855 but West Barnton Terrace to the left of Ramsay Cottage still to be built (1902)

Copy of an area of John Bell's painting (1860) entitled 'Edinburgh from Craigleith Quarry' showing Ramsay Cottage standing on its own.

Copied by permission of the Edinburgh City Arts Centre in Market Street Edinburgh where copies of the oil painting are available in card and poster sizes.


Old photograph taken from the west side of the quarry towards Ramsay Cottage and the back of the houses now Craigleith Road. In the distance can be seen Bristo Baptist Church and to it's right the gate house of the Dean Cemetery.

 John Brown a local artist ,with a studio next door to Ramsay Cottage,who owns the photograph was kind enough to let me put it on display.Please click on the image to obtain an enlarged view





Part of the back garden of 159 Craigleith Road has been sold and permission for a new house given. The workmen

 while digging the foundations for the new house came across a couple of interesting



The bottles have not been identified but the "jam jar" is a well known maker of marmalade James Keiller and Sons from Dundee. They obtained prizes in 1862 London and Vienna 1873 for their excellent marmalade. The jars are of particular interest as the glazing is a special type which I am researching.

As mentioned above the houses to the west of Ramsay Cottage were built in 1902

Two plaques on the face of the buildings at West Barnton Terrace show the following information

This plaque shows the date (1902) which was the completion date of the houses.


The other plaque shows the builders logo AC&S which is Adam Currie and Sons.


The North side of Craigleith Road was originally divided into Barnton Terrace Nos 1 to 41  and West Barnton Terrace Nos 1 to 12 and then 7 shops Nos 13 to 20.

Plan to be added

The shops have since been demolished to create the entrance to Sainsbury's superstore in 1998.