Colinton

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For the hamlet in Canada, see Colinton, Alberta.
Colinton in 2005

Colinton (Scottish Gaelic: Baile Cholgain) is a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland situated 6 kilometres south west of the city centre. Up until the late 18th century it appears on maps as Collington. It is bordered by Dreghorn to the south and Craiglockhart to the north-east. To the north-west it extends to Lanark Road (the A70) and to the south-west to the City Bypass. Bonaly is a subsection of the area on its southern side.

Colinton is a designated conservation area.

History[edit]

Colinton in the 19th century
Grave of Olaf Vennesland, Colinton Kirkyard

Originally sited within a steep-sided glen on a convenient fording point on the Water of Leith, and expanding from there, Colinton's history dates back to before the 11th century.

Close to the Water of Leith is Colinton Parish Church, correctly called St.Cuthbert's Parish Church, originally founded as the Church of Halis (Hailes) around 1095 by Elthelred, third son of Malcolm III and Queen Margaret. The church is particularly picturesque in its setting, which appears more rural than suburban. The current exterior largely dates from 1907 but the structure dates from 1650.[1] It groups pleasantly with its manse, the old schoolhouse and the offertory house at the entrance. The entrance is marked by a lych gate, rare in Scotland and more common in southern England. The cemetery (on the lower slopes to the south) contains the village war memorial. One unique grave within the cemetery is a Norwegian War Grave.

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 spent the summers of his childhood at the manse when his grandfather was the village's Parish Minister; the philanthropist James Gillespie; and architects Sir Robert Rowand Anderson and John James Burnet,[2] who all lived in the village.

Redford Barracks

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. As part of the UK government's defence spending review, UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox announced on 18 July 2011, that Redford and Dreghorn Barracks will become surplus to requirements and are earmarked for disposal.[3]

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[edit]

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 and with many 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 Water of Leith in Colinton Dell.

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 that dates back to when the path was part of the local railway line.

Colinton is served by Bonaly Primary School, Firrhill High School. Merchiston Castle School, east of the village, is an independent all-boys boarding school.

Spylaw Park is a delightful park situated in the beautiful surroundings of the dell. The park has many features including 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.

Transport[edit]

See also Transport in Edinburgh

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

Famous residents[edit]

See also[edit]

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

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Buildings of Edinburgh, by Colin McWilliam
  2. ^ JJ Burnet retired to 55 Woodhall Road where he died in 1938"Three cottages, Woodhall Road". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  3. ^ House of Commons Library: Standard Note:SN06038
  4. ^ McBeth, Jim (9 June 2010). "Fred the Shred is back: Shamed RBS boss returns to country he nearly bankrupted after buying £3.5m 'WAG dream house'". Daily Mail (London). 

Coordinates: 55°54′30″N 3°15′00″W / 55.90833°N 3.25000°W / 55.90833; -3.25000