Morningside, Edinburgh

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Morningside Clock, Edinburgh.jpg
Morningside Clock
Morningside is located in Edinburgh
Morningside shown within Edinburgh
OS grid referenceNT244708
Council area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townEdinburgh
Postcode districtEH10
Dialling code0131 (446, 447, 452)
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55°55′30″N 3°12′34″W / 55.925061°N 3.209411°W / 55.925061; -3.209411Coordinates: 55°55′30″N 3°12′34″W / 55.925061°N 3.209411°W / 55.925061; -3.209411

Morningside is a district in the south west of Edinburgh, Scotland, which centres on Morningside Road, an ancient route from the city to the south west of Scotland and Carlisle. It lies south of Bruntsfield, Burghmuirhead (including Holy Corner, Church Hill, and Greenhill); south-west of Marchmont, and south-east of Merchiston; and to the north of Comiston and the Braid Hills.

Landmark structures[edit]

Morningside Library

Morningside landmarks include the Morningside Clock, originally in the middle of the roadway as the clock for Morningside Station (part of the suburban railway line); the elaborately decorated Canny Man's pub (formerly The Volunteer's Arms) on the corner of Canaan Lane; and the Bore Stane, an ancient monument, adjacent to the former Parish Church in which the Royal Standard of James IV was pitched for the muster of the Scottish Army on the Burgh Muir before the battle of Flodden 1513.

Old School House, Morningside Road

The Eric Liddell Centre, a local charity, named after the 1924 Olympic 400m gold medalist athlete, Eric Liddell, immortalised in the 1981 Oscar Award-winning film "Chariots of Fire" is situated in Morningside in the former North Morningside Parish Church at Holy Corner.[1]

The Church Hill Theatre sits at the top of the hill above Holy Corner. Also of note is the Streamline Moderne Dominion Cinema on Newbattle Terrace.

Street names and local history[edit]

Dominion Cinema

The names of several streets in the area have biblical associations, such as Eden Lane, Nile Grove, Jordan Lane, and Canaan Lane. The Jordan Burn is a stream which trickles out of sight at a spot next to the present Post Office in Morningside Road. Several theories exist for the origins of these names, ranging from Jews settling in the area at one time to Cromwell's troops inventing place names while foraging in unfamiliar territory. However, Charles Smith, in his noted history of the area, indicates from historical sources the likely presence of Gypsies on the Burgh Muir in the 16th century and the existence of an Egypt Farm, first mentioned in 1585, which may have been a reminder of their presence. It was demolished in the 1890s.[2]

Another early street name of note is Cuddy Lane ("cuddy" is a Scots word for a donkey or short, thick, strong horse).


Former Morningside Parish Church

Henry Ramage, recipient of the Victoria Cross, was born in Morningside, as was the actor Greg McHugh.

By one definition, Morningside was formerly home to the author J. K. Rowling, writer of the Harry Potter series of books. However, her house in Abbotsford park was, strictly speaking, in the Merchiston area bordering Morningside to the north-west.[original research?] The house, which stands close to the homes of fellow authors Alexander McCall Smith and Ian Rankin, was sold in November 2012.

Prior to his death, the Labour Party leader John Smith lived locally and his funeral, attended by much of the British Establishment, was held at Morningside Parish Church, which has the longest aisle of any parish church in Britain.

Alister Darling, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2007-2010 grew up in Morningside and attended nearby Loretto school.

In fiction, Morningside is the home of Muriel Spark's Jean Brodie, and in children's literature it is the home of "Maisie from Morningside", a kitten in books by Aileen Paterson.


Most of the housing on Morningside Road is of tenement style, with surrounding streets housing mostly Victorian villas (detached or semi-detached houses), plus a number of notable older buildings. Exceptions are the streets around Falcon Avenue and Falcon Road West which are also tenemented. The names of these streets recall one of the largest local mansion houses, Falcon Hall, now gone.


Victorian shops in Morningside Road

Civic amenities include South Morningside Primary School; Saint Peter's R.C. Primary School; Blackford Pond; and Morningside Library.[3] There are a wide range of small, traditional shops, cafés and restaurants as well as some more mainstream shops and supermarkets such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencer; and there is an independent, family-run cinema, The Dominion.

Churches in the area include Morningside United Church (Church of Scotland and United Reformed Church), Christ Church (Scottish Episcopal Church) and Elim Church, all at Holy Corner; Morningside Parish Church in Cluny Gardens; Roman Catholic St Peter's Church and the Old Schoolhouse Christian Fellowship (independent). The former North Morningside Parish church at Holy Corner was converted for community use in 1980 and is now called the Eric Liddell Centre after the Olympic athlete who lived locally and attended the former Morningside Congregational Church, now the home of Morningside United Church.


Queen Victoria tablet on a Morningside tenement

The area is served by a number of buses operated by Lothian Buses including route numbers 5, 11, 15, 16, 23, 36, 38 & 41.

The disused Morningside Road railway station was closed to passenger service in 1962 when the Edinburgh Suburban and Southside Junction Railway service was withdrawn. A local pressure group is campaigning for the station to be re-opened, possibly as an extension to the Edinburgh tram system.[4]


  1. ^ "The history of the Eric Liddell Centre, Edinburgh". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  2. ^ C J Smith, Historic South Edinburgh, Edinburgh & London 1978, pp.206-07
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Reopening the South Sub" (PDF). Transform Scotland. March 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2010.


  • Smith, Charles J., "Morningside", John Donald Publishers Ltd., Edinburgh, 1992. ISBN 0-85976-354-4
  • Cant, Michael, "Villages of Edinburgh" volumes 1 & 2, John Donald Publishers Ltd., Edinburgh, 1986-1987. ISBN 0-85976-131-2 & ISBN 0-85976-186-X
  • Grant, James, "Old and new Edinburgh" volumes 1–3 (or 1–6, edition dependent), Cassell, 1880s (published as a periodical): Online edition

External links[edit]