New Town Edinburgh

David I built mills for the Augustinian canons of Holyrood, hence the origin of the place name Canonmills. The area from Dundas Street to Canonmills was once a Loch fed by the Water of Leith river.

In the mid 1700s the water in the loch receded and only covered the area where King George V Park stands with the surrounding area marsh land which was called Canon Mills Haugh.The water depth of Canonmills loch at that time was less than 6 foot and in cold winters the loch froze and curling and ice skating took place on the frozen loch. Near to where Robert Louis Stevenson was born he mentions the loch in his writings "Catriona".

Canon Mills Loch Edinburgh

Etching of Canonmills Loch by John W Ewbank 1825 curtesy of capital collections

Eyre Place Canonmills

New Town Edinburgh

King George V Park
King George V Park Edinburgh

The Royal Gymnasium

The Canonmills loch was drained in 1847 and years later a philanthropist

called John Cox built the Royal Gymnasium. due to the lack of use it was closed and the ground was taken over by St Bernard's football club in 1878. St Bernard's were a successful team and won the Scottish Cup in 1895. Another memorable game was when 27000 spectators watch St Bernard's beating Hibernian 1 - 0.

King George V Park Plaque St Bernards Football Club


New Town Edinburgh

Robert Louis Stevenson

 First School

The first school Robert Louis Stevenson attended was just a few yards over the Water of Leith, in the building which is now a Baptist Church. On the south facing wall can be found  plaque that reads:

1850 -1894  In this hall Robert Louis Stevenson first went to school Circa 1857.

Robert Lous Stevenson Primary School 185


New Town Edinburgh

Canonmills Bridge

The Canonmills bridge walked over by Robert Louis Stevenson on his way to school. The bridge was built in 1840 to allow easy access across the river (Water of Leith). It was later widened to allow both pedestrians and traffic in 1896.

Canonmills Bridge @ Canonmills Edinburgh
Water of Leith From Canonmills Bridge Ed
Canonmills Bridge Plaque Canonmills Edin

Brandon Street Canonmills

New Town Edinburgh

Sir Darcy Thompson

Sir Darcy Thompson was born in Brandon Street Canonmills in 1860. He was attended Edinburgh Academy from 1870 to 1877   1878 he entered the University of Edinburgh as a medical student, under the guidance of marine biologist Sir Wyville Thompson Trinity College, Cambridge, where he he graduated in the natural science He published many books on the sciences and was knighted in 1937. He was a lecturer at both Dundee and St Andrews Universities a true scholar and scientist

Sir Darcy Thompson Plaque Canonmills Edinbu

Brandon Street Canonmills 

Edinburgh New Town

Dundas House  

Dundas House was built in 1883 to house a printing works of Robert Clark

the founder of the printing works R & R Clark Ltd

Dundas House Brandon Street Canonmills E

Warriston Crescent Canonmills

New Town Edinburgh

Frédéric Chopin

Frédéric François Chopin a Polish composer and pianist lived at 10 Warriston Crescent Canonmills in 1948 with his friend a Polish doctor, Adam Łyszczyński. Chopin was on a tour of Scotland as his music was a favourite of the high class and nobility of the time. When staying with his friend he composed a song to a poem by Stefan Witwicki titled ‘Spring’  for his good friends wife.

Fryderyk Chopin Plaque Canonmills Edinbu
Fryderyk Chopin House Canonmills Edinbur

Howard Place Canonmills

Edinburgh New Town

Robert Louis Stevenson 


Robert Louis Stevenson was born on the 13 November 1850 at 8 Howard Place Edinburgh near to Canonmills and the Water of Leith. Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) moved with his family at the age of 2 to 1 Inverleith Terrace (Now 9)

in 1853 they then moved into the New Town.

robert louis stevenson howard place edin
robert luois stevenson plaque Canonmills
Edinburgh Coat of Arms.
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Established  16 / 03 /2017

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