Jan 152019
Photograph of the gates to Caroline House Park

The gates to Caroline House Park

Caroline Park Avenue, Edinburgh EH5 1QJ

Caroline Park House, originally known as Royston House, was built around 1585 by Andrew Logan. In 1683 it was bought by Sir George Mackenzie of Tarbat, and in 1739 it was sold to the 2nd Duke of Argyll who renamed it Caroline Park after his daughter who married the Earl of Dalkeith. Through this marriage the house and estate passed in 1793 to the Duke of Buccleuch, a pivotal event in Granton’s history. The house was altered in 1740s by the architect William Adam, father of Robert and John Adam. Subsequent tenants of the house have included Archibald Cockburn (father of Lord Cockburn, the conservationist who lamented the development of Granton Harbour) and Lady John Scott (1810-1900), who produced the standard version of the old Scottish song ‘Annie Laurie’. The house (and adjacent Granton Castle), increasingly disturbed by industrial activity, became less attractive as a formal residency. The Duke initially leased the house as an office to AB Fleming & Co Ltd. which owned the printing ink and chemical works located further west of the house. In 1872 the company bought the house and it remained their HQ until 1966 when the company moved to Corstorphine. Since 1988 the house is in private hands.

Engraving of Caroline Park

The elegant Caroline Park House

Jan 152019
Photograph of the entrance gate to Granton Castle along the shore road

Along the shore road is the location of the entrance gate of Granton Castle

West Shore Road, Edinburgh EH5 1QG

This stone structure is the remnant of the original entrance to Granton Castle. Although the building no longer stands, it was one of the oldest developments in the area, built on what used to be a rocky outcrop on a slope, with fine views across the Forth. The castle was already in existence in 1479 and sacked in 1544 when the Earl of Hertford landed nearby with an English Army on their way to burn Edinburgh and Leith.  Rebuilt by 1619, the owner was Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall, an eminent lawyer and politician. In 1740 John Campbell, the 2nd Duke of Argyll, bought Granton Castle from the Hopes of Craighall, and renamed it Royston Castle. He had previously bought the neighbouring estate of Easter Granton in 1739, which he renamed Caroline Park, after his daughter. With Argyll concentrating his efforts on Caroline Park, by 1749 Granton Castle was a ruin. Alas, it stayed that way throughout the 19th and early 20th century when lots of industrial activity developed in the area, contributing to the demise and ultimate destruction of this fine historic building.

Black and white engraving of the old entrance to Caroline Park, with a woman walking past the front gate

The old entrance to Caroline Park. This image is of the gate facing the Forth, visited earlier, but the current gates were modelled on the original entrance

Vintage postcard of Granton Castle along the Firth of Forth shoreline

Granton Castle along the Firth of Forth shoreline, taken from a postcard available at the time

Black and white photograph of Granton Gas Works showing the old Caledonian line passing through the gates of Caroline Park to the West Pier at Granton

Granton Gas Works showing the old Caledonian line passing through the gates of Caroline Park to the West Pier at Granton