Apr 032019

City Chambers today

253 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ

The City Chambers are the civic headquarters of Edinburgh City Council. Members of the public can attend most meetings of the Council, Committees, and Sub-committees. Completed in 1761 and designed by the architect John Adam, the building was originally a merchant exchange. However, merchants preferred to do their business in taverns in the High Street so, in 1811, the Council took over the building. A civic reception was held here to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Edinburgh Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor, along with a service in St. Giles Cathedral, a Fashion Show, a Ball and a Yule Fair. On the 19th April 2018, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council (EVOC) celebrated their 150th anniversary with a reception in the Scottish Parliament.

City Chambers today









Protest at City Chambers, date unknown









City Chambers, date unknown









Protest at City Chambers, 1980s









Photo credits:Lucy Ridley, EVOC

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

Apr 162018

Greyfriars KirkyardGreyfriars Kirkyard, Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QQ

Of 670 grave plots here, at least 60 have Indian connections. Henry Mackenzie wrote essays against men with Indian fortunes coming back to lord it over Scotland with rubies and fiery curries, but his gravestone mentions three of his own sons who themselves served in India. Famous Latin poet George Buchanan was the earliest Scot to criticise colonialism in India in his ‘Polyonymum’ (1552) and ‘De Sphaera’ (1555). Isabella Hope survived shipwreck off Madagascar in 1792. In 1825, John Adam, acting Governor General of India, died aboard ship in the same seas, according to his memorial in the family mausoleum.

Grave of Isabella Hope.

Grave of Isabella Hope.

Grave of George Buchanan

Grave of George Buchanan.

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