Origins of Name
The name Dalry may derive from Dail Rig or Dail Ruigh, Scottish Gaelic for the "Place of the Fields" or "King's Field" respectively. "Field of the heather" from Dail and Scottish Gaelic fhraoich, heather, has also been suggested as a derivation.
Dalry is often mentioned along with the neighbouring area of Gorgie to the southwest, and the joint name Gorgie-Dalry is commonly used by the City of Edinburgh Council. Dalry also borders Ardmillan. It has become an increasingly popular residential area in recent years, and has a range of shops, restaurants and leisure facilities. Princes Street, in central Edinburgh, is ten to fifteen minutes' walk from the area. Many of Edinburgh's major employers are also within walking distance.
Dalry was developed in the nineteenth century and contains a mix of traditional tenements, "colonies" (terraced houses where one floor has an entrance at one side, and the other floor has an entrance on the other side; street names follow the buildings rather than the roads between them), and much more recently built residential properties, including a substantial development on the site of a former distillery and other light industry.
Dalry has one of Edinburgh's Victorian swimming baths, now known as Dalry Swim Centre, in Caledonian Crescent. Nearby is the former mansion Dalry House, built about 1661, probably for the Chieslie family. The house was reputedly haunted by a member of the family who was hanged for a shooting in 1680. Once set in extensive grounds, the house is now surrounded by tenements. From the late nineteenth century to about 1960 it was used as a teacher training college, then by the Edinburgh & Leith Old People's Welfare Committee for social activities, classes and a lunch club until closed down in 2002. The house has been converted into flats. Also nearby is St. Brides Community Centre in Orwell Terrace, run by the City of Edinburgh Council in the former St. Bride's church and offering a programme of classes and activities for adults and children. Dalry used to have Scotland's second oldest cinema which opened in 1912 as 'The Haymarket Cinema' and changed name to the Scotia in 1946. Only the foyer remains as a tattoo parlour and the main auditorium was demolished in 2013.
The east end of Dalry has seen major development but the former railway depot at Haymarket, to the east of Dalry, lay predominantly empty since its closure in the 1960s. The site was amongst those on the shortlist of potential locations for the Scottish Parliament Building. Construction of a new £200m retail, hotel and office development commenced in 2013 with work to reinforce the active rail tunnels under the site, which run east from Haymarket station to Edinburgh Waverley. Ground level construction is expected to commence in early 2015 with the first phase due for completion in 2016.
Dalry Cemetery was designed by David Cousin in 1846 in the wake of the success of both Dean Cemetery in the west and Warriston Cemetery in the north. It represented part of the second wave of cemetery building in the city, specifically serving the south-west sections.
The lodge house post-dates the main construction and was added in 1873, to a design by Peddie and Kinnear. Sadly the highly impressive Gothic entrance arch, built adjoining the lodge, was demolished in the 20th century.
- Ross, David (2001),Scottish Place-names, Birlinn, Edinburgh, p.63. ISBN 1-84158-173-9
- Work to start on Edinburgh's £200m The Haymarket development - 28 November 2013