top of page

Morningside Attractions


Morningside was a small village south of Edinburgh which consisted of a few cottages and farms. Originally part of the Burghmuir (a woodland and open ground where hunting took place) which stretched from the Pentland hills to the Meadows which was the Burgh Loch. Now Morningside is a suburb of Edinburgh increasing in size from when the railway Station opened in 1884. The suburban railway in Edinburgh went out of use in 1962 when it closed.

The clock has been a icon of Morningside since it was originally erected in 1910. Morningside has eight churches all in the main thoroughfare, a religious area of Edinburgh There are many attractions in Morningside, from famous birthplaces to historic buildings, plaques, wall tablets and ancient standing stones.

Morningside Attractions  Edinburgh
Napier Tower


John Napier was a great inventor and Mathematician lived in the Napier Tower that was built by Alexander Napier

the second Laird of Merchiston around 1454. John Napier the 8th Laird of Merchiston was born here in 1550. John Napier is best known as the discoverer of logarithms (Napier’s bones) in 1614. The bones can be seen in the Scottish National Museum.  John Napier also appears to have been the first to intentionally use the frenetic period as a decimal separator in his book Rabdologia published in 1617. Also found in the same book was reference to Napier’s bones, numbered rods which were used to perform multiplication and division of any number, also useful in navigation and astronomy. Napier Technical College was opened in 1964 named after John Napier and in 2009 became Edinburgh Napier University. Napier Tower serves as the seat for Clan Napier and stands on the Napier University campus in Colinton Road Edinburgh. The Bust is now on show in the main reception at Colinton.

Napier Tower Edinburgh
John Napire's Bust Napier College Edinburgh


The Clan Napier Crest can be found above the main entrance of The Napier Tower in the Napier University campus in Colinton Road Edinburgh. The clan Coat of Arms are only allowed to be used by the clan chieftain.


A dexter cubit arm, the hand grasping a Crescent Argent with birds holding the Clan Chiefs coat of arms.


The meaning of     SANSTACHE       a French word is


Napier Clan Crest

The Hanging Stanes


Edinburgh‘s passion for executing the guilty can be seen in the many places around the Edinburgh streets where executions took place, e.g. The Grassmarket, High Street, Castlehill and Canongate to name a few. The main three punishments were burning at the stake, hanging and the guillotine, always with large audiences in attendance.

In some instances gallows were erected on the site of the incident as in the case of the Highwaymen Thomas Kelly and Henry O’Neil two Irish immigrants who robbed a traveller David Loch on his way to Edinburgh and were sentenced to death by hanging (January 1815). Thomas Kelly and Henry O’Neil were taken to the place of execution where temporary Gibbets had been erected on the site of the robbery and they hung side by side for their crime. The site can be seen in Braid Road Edinburgh 200 metres from the corner at Morningside Station where the two Squares marked in the road and a plaque on the pavement outside 66 Braid Road Edinburgh donate where the gallows stood. 

The Hanging Stanes Plaque Edinburgh
Morningside Hangin Stanes Edinburgh

The Buck Stane

The Buck Stane stands at just over 1.00m high by 0.38m at its widest and is 0.28m thick. It stands against a garden wall in a small alcove near the south end of Braid Road. The stone has an information plaque which can be seen on the wall. 

Tradition associates the Buck Stane with the Barony of Penicuik and the royal hunts on the Borough-Muir. The plaque also says that the stone marks the spot where the buckhounds were let loose when the King of Scotland hunted in the region.

(The wording on the plaque)

This march stone a relic of feudal times

occupied a commanding site

on the old roman road about 250

yards north from this spot

by tradition the name was

derived from the stone having

marked the place where the buckhounds

were unleashed when the king of

Scotland hunted in this region.

The Buck Stane Braid Road Edinburgh
The Buck Stane Plaque Braid Road Edinburgh

Queen Victoria

Diamond Jubilee Wall Tablet

The wall tablet is to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 60 years on the

throne in 1897. Look up on the wall just above the shops, up from the Taxi rank in Morningside Road, the plaque is just above a street light.

Thomas Armour

Thomas Armour

Thomas Armour after the First World War moved to the U.S. and as a professional golfer won over 20 professional championships which included The US Open, The PGA Championship, The British Open and was three times

Canadian Open champion. Thomas Armour and Western Golf Club link

Where Thomas Armour was born and lived as a Child

The Old Schoolhouse

A small house with a clock built in 1823 as the village school house. In 1892 its use was changed as a new modern school opened, and it became a  temporary  church prior to Morningside Parish Church opening 1838. 

Old School House Morningside Edinburgh

Edinburgh's Wild West

Morningside Edinburgh

There is a street in Morningside Edinburgh that was built as a Wild West town – everything you would expect a Cantina, Jail hotel and saloon There is also a Indian (Native American ) mural. Built in 1996 by a furniture company called the Great American indoors 

Cowboy Town Morningside Edinburgh
Old Cowboy Town Morningside

Royal Edinburgh Hospital

The Royal Edinburgh Hospital was a plan of Dr Andrew Duncan who attended to the poet Robert Fergusson until his death in Bedlam, the Edinburgh Asylum at Bristo Place Edinburgh. He was so taken by the nature of Fergusson’s illness he petitioned parliament for funds to open a hospital to look after the mentally ill.

Funds were received in 1806, and Andrew Duncan purchased a house and land in Morningside The building of The Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum was started in 1809 under Royal Charter and opened in 1813. Originally for fee paying patients only but later in 1842 the poor were admitted for no charge. When the Bedlam Asylum closed in 1844 the patients were transferred to Morningside. The Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum was renamed The Royal Edinburgh Hospital in 1922. A Clinic opened in 1965 named after Andrew Duncan.


ANDREW DUNCAN born St Andrew’s 1744 Died Edinburgh 1828 and is buried in the

Apse Church in Chapel Street Edinburgh. One of the world’s forgotten greats he was first

to lecture in forensic medicine in Britain and published many journals on medicine.

William Tuke Medallion Morningside Edinburgh

William Tuke 1732-1822, A Quaker in 1796 opened the York Retreat sanctuary for Quakers with mental illness.

Phillipe Pinel father of modern psychiatry Medallion

Phillipe Pinel 1745-1826, French physician. And known as

"the father of modern psychiatry".

Robert Gardiner Hill Medallion Morningside Edinburgh

Robert Gardiner Hill 1811-1878, Surgeon in mental Health who had restraints and the locking up of patients abolished.

William Tuke Medallion Morningside Edinburgh
Dorothea Dix Medallion Morningside Edinburgh

Dorothea Dix 1802-1887, Dorothea Lynde Dix was born America in 1802 and fought for the rights of the insane that had been incarcerated in prisons rather than being treated in hospitals(asylums)for their mental health problems she help open over 30 hospitals for the mentally ill.

Commeoration Centenary Memorial



Florence Nightingale Medallion Morningside Edinburgh

Florence Nightingale 1820-1910, nurse.

Florence Nightingale was born in 1820, in Florence, Italy and died at home in London in 1920 she is known as the founder of nursing.

Campbell Clark Medallion Morningside Edinburgh

Archibald Campbell Clark 1852-1901

He worked in  Lochgilphead, Melrose and Edinburgh Asylums. 

He used electroconvulsive therapy and to control the behavior of his patients he was the first Doctor in Scotland to perform a lobotomy. 

The Caiy Stane Plaque Edinburgh


Edinburgh Attraction

The Caiy Stane is located at the side of the walkway on the west side of Caiystane View, a short distance from the junction of Oxgangs Road, Edinburgh. The stone is red sandstone and stands 9 feet 3 inches high (2.75m) with a breadth of 5 foot 9 inches (1.60m). A row of six cup marks can be seen on the back of the prehistoric stone. The stone may have been erected before 3000 BC, as early as the Neolithic period, probably to denote a ritual or burial place. Records of cairns, cists and urns found in the immediate vicinity show that the hilltop continued to be used for burial in the Bronze Age. Discovery of these remains led to the supposition that Caiyside Hill was the site of a battle, suggested to have involved invading Romans, Danes (Vikings) or Cromwellians. The Caiy Stane (Kel Stane), Cat Stane or Camus Stane, was thought to have been a battle memorial stone.   

The Caiy Stane Edinburgh
The Caiy Stane Story Edinburgh
The Bore Stone

The only folklore associated with this site relates to James IV before the battle of Flodden in 1513 when it is alleged that the

Royal Standard was pitched in or on the stone when it lay on the Boroughmuir nearby.

The Bore Stone stands on a pedestal built into the boundary wall of Morningside Parish Church Edinburgh which opened in 1838 and was the first purpose built church in Morningside.. The surface of the stone displays numerous cup-like markings, none of which are believed to be anything other than natural. After the battle the city wall was built to protect Edinburgh from the English Army.

 The Bore Stone Morningside Edinburgh


In which the royal standard was last

pitched for the muster of the Scottish

army on the Boroughmuir before the

Battle of Flodden


  It long lay in the adjoining field, was then

built into the wall near this spot, and finally

placed here by Sir John Stuart Forbes

of Pitsligo Bart.


Highest and midmost was described

The Royal Banner floating wide.

 The staff, a pine tree strong and straight

Pitch’d deeply in a massive stone.

Which still in memory is shown.

  Yet bent beneath the standard’s weight.


 The Bore Stone Morningside Edinburgh Plaque
Comiston Spring
Well House

The water for Edinburgh old town was piped from the Springs at Comiston to Edinburgh reservoir on Castlehill, 

(Scottish Weaving Mill) and in turn fed the cisterns (Wellheads) in the West Bow, Lawnmarket and High street of Edinburgh. The well house tank was fed by 5 fresh water springs from around the nearby hills.

The well house became obsolete in 1945 due to new modern water systems.

 The well house was built circa 1674. Inscription on the plaque reads; This Wellhouse, built around 1674, played an important part in the history and development of Edinburgh. It contains the collecting cistern for the "sweet waters" of the various Comiston springs which provided the city's first piped water supply. 

Comiston Spring Well House Edinburgh
Wellhouse Plaque Comiston Spring Edinburgh

Comiston House

The Comiston House was built in 1815 by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh Sir James Forrest.

He was an Advocate and was created 1st Baronet of Comiston in 1838.

Comiston House Edinburgh

Comiston Castle Tower

Comiston Castle Tower has been mentioned in script and on maps since circa 1340. The only remains are the corner tower from circa 1610. This being a corner lookout tower of a walled Castle. John Adair’s Map 1682.

Comiston Castle Tower Ruins Edinburgh
Comiston Castle Tower Ruins Edinburgh

Morningside Park 

Morningside Edinburgh

Morningside Park off Balcarres Street in Morningside is an area of grass and wildflowers that were planted by local school children. In the park can be found a children’s play area with swings climbing frame slide and open area for games and a tennis court. There is a pleasant seating area for contemplation or reading a book.

There is also a sculpture of Owls carved out of wood.

Morningside Park Stone Edinburgh
Morningside Park Edinburgh
owl  Sculpture in Morningside Park Edinb

Canaan House Edinburgh

John Astley Ainslie was an independently wealthy man inheriting lands from his family. Unfortunately he did at the age of 26. With a close connection to his uncle he left is fortune to David Ainslie who never married, his will stating that money was to be used in building a hospital or institute for convalescents of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. The Astley Ainslie Hospital in Edinburgh was built named after his Nephew. A painting of John hangs in Canaan House also David’s sheep breeding trophies are on display in the boardroom.

Canaan House Astley Ainslie Edinburgh
bottom of page