Our Craighouse

‘ Where am I going to sledge if it is snowy again?’
Laura, 9.

 “Our 5-year old son, Nicolas, cried alot when he heard that they were going to try and build over the orchard, and the green space just in front of the parking lot. It was difficult to console him. He loves the apple trees, and he loves playing on the grass in front of the parking lot. It would take away precious local green space that will never come back.” (extract from a letter sent to Friends of Craighouse)

On this page, we wanted to people to share why the grounds at Craighouse are so important to them, their families and the local community. Thanks so much to all of you who shared their stories and photographs.

Fiona shared this wonderful collection of family events with…

A Year in the Life of Craighouse:

Comin up the hill?

This is the most common saying in our house it leads to all types of adventures friendships and sights.


Traditional egg rolling on the back of our hill our family with some local kids and a number of other families enjoying the fun.


My son doing some cycle moves with some local boys all healthy fun in a safe open space


My daughter  (11 yrs) out taking photographs of the sky and the hill which has provided her with lots of opportunities to take pictures and stimulate her interest in photography.

Fireworks night we take some local kids with our neighbours and enjoy a mini display on the hill

WinterThe wow snow 2010

Granddad messing about on the hill -what a laugh, his grandchildren were falling about laughing as he pretended to do a bit of skiing.


Walking  a dog owned by a Alistair but adopted and loved by our Street.  Our neighbour could not manage the dog walking in the worst of the snow so we all helped out.  Meeting Alistair and Sparky on the hill has brought my kids in touch with some of our more mature residents.

Why we love Craighouse

‘I love climbing trees in the woods.’
Fraser, 5

As a family & with friends we have climbed the hill many, many times over the years. We like to go there to watch fireworks at New Year, we love going sledging when there has been snow. If we have friends to visit/stayover it is a fantastic place to take them as it is a hill which can be easily climbed by even 2 year olds, but, which gives the most fantastic views out over Edinburgh.

There is a whole community here and walking around the grounds and hill is how I’ve met  people in the local community. I know more of my neighbours than I ever did where I lived before and that’s through coming together at Craighouse

It would be a sad day if we could not still watch the fireworks, from the lovely benches.

It’s so important for children to be able to run free away from roads. To touch leaves and grass, to let off steam and experience the outdoors.
Sandra, foster carer

We moved to Craighouse Terrace in November 1969 with three small children.  We  used the grounds for walks, sledging, collecting windfalls for apple jelly.  Our children learned to play tennis on the two courts which were situated where the car park is now.   Now our grandchildren love the grounds as much as their parents did and future generations of children should  have the same opportunities.

by Stephanie Green

Frost Labyrinth

Drawn by heel of boot

in frost round a tree.  Walk it

before it’s too late.

I hadn’t realized , when I wrote this, that ‘before it’s too late’ would have the extra significance it has now. A green space with wonderful views is a rarity in a city, essential for peace and inner solace as well as healthy bodies. Craighouse is particularly special with its contrast betweeen the open green spaces, the wonderful views of Edinburgh and the more enclosed wooded area and wilder heath-like hill.

It would be a terrible shame if the slope of grass is built on, or transformed into a ridged landform- hundreds of children and teenagers (including our son) go toboggoning in the snow there every winter.  The rest of the year, it is a wonderful space for all ages and since I am self-employed and can walk there at all times of day, I see there is an interesting change-over of ages and uses throughout the day: joggers, dog-walkers, old or disabled people on sticks, mothers and babies/toddlers, teenagers. At weekends, whole families of all ages arrive, whilst couples read the newspapers. Sometimes there are picnics on rugs in the sun, the only flat area to the side of the carpark is used for football,occasionally there are camera crews photographing models. Sadly, there will now be no students sitting on the grass having seminars in the summer.


4 Responses to Our Craighouse

  1. Pingback: Developer’s FAQ back up: check it quick | Friends of Craighouse Grounds and Wood

  2. Pingback: Craighouse Grounds and Woods | Unregarded Edinburgh

  3. Rob Wrate says:

    I wrote to Emma Wilson at Planning to join others who object strongly to the current proposals for this site, an extensive development which solely reflects commercial interests – with no social value at a time when building ‘social capital’ in Edinburgh (which the Tramway project ought to have promoted) has never been more important

    I recognised that Craighouse had once been in private ownership, and only passed into public ownership at the end of the 19thC by the Royal Edinburgh Hospital purchasing it by selling off some of its own land for private development, but the current proposal greatly differs from that process in three essential respects

    1. the size of the development – on this substantial and comparatively unspoilt hillside – is completely at variance with the local protection it has been provided (which also reflects it’s widely-recognised community & amenity value, which in fact the 19thC Craighouse development released if not actively promoted)
    2. the height of some of the developments, particularly those designed with modernism idiom, is totally out of keeping with the residential area of Morningside
    3. the preservation of the listed buildings is not secured

    I suggested that the proposal seems greedy and unimaginative ; given Edinburgh’s high residential house prices, planning ought to also be concerned to ensure any sizeable proposal establishes building-stock of social value e.g. new primary school, safe play & recreational areas etc etc (as Canadian cities require of any new housing development), and also more affordable housing (and similar housing-association opportunities, of which Quatermile offers very little in comparison with all the ‘talk’ of its developers)

    Dr RM Wrate

  4. Pingback: 52and39/10 Well Kept Secrets | Wordathlon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s