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Tollcross Edinburgh

The area of Tollcross has many streets from Lothian Road the main thoroughfare continues by Earl Grey Street,

Home street and Leven Street towards Bruntsfield and the South. to the east is Lauriston Place, with a number of small street branching off. To the south east is brougham street and brougham place continuing south on Melville drive.

Lauriston Place

Tollcross Edinburgh

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

The first Edinburgh Infirmary was established on 6 August 1729 

The Infirmary was granted a Royal Charter from George II in 1736 which gave it, its name of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

The building a short distance away was then taken as the new Royal Infirmary the gates still in Drummond Street.

The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh moved again to the site of old George Watson’s (Hospital) School opposite George Heriots in Lauriston Place 1870.  George Watson’s moved to Archibald Place where the previously the Merchant Maiden (Hospital) school had been, they vacated in 1870 to move to Queen Street. George Watson's Boys College remained at Archibald Place from 1870 to 1932, before moving to Colinton Road where they remain. The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh moved to a new purpose built Hospital at Little France in 2003.

Old Royal Infirmary Edinburgh
Royal Infirmary Bulding Lauriston Place

Formally Lauriston Church

Tollcross Edinburgh

­Lauriston United Presbyterian Church is Gothic style building from circa 1860. The church is now in the hands of The Muslim Welfare House which is a charitable organization for serving the needs of overseas students in Britain.

Lauriston Place Church Edinburgh

Old Fire Station

Tollcross Edinburgh

The Central Fire Station opened in 1900 and served Edinburgh for circa 100 years before becoming a museum, but now it has been closed due to funding. 

Inscription reads;

Central Fire Brigade Station

Opened By the Right Honourable Sir Mitchell Thomson Bart

Lord Provost 7th June 1900

Edinburgh Fire Brigade Plaque Edinburgh
Old Central Fire Station Edinburgh
Central Fire Brigade Station Lauriston P

James Braidwood


Aye Ready

plaque reads;

In memory of James Braidwood, first master of fire engines in Edinburgh and founder of the British fire service. Born in Edinburgh in 1800, who died whilst fighting a fire in Tooley Street London in 1861.

James Braidwood Memorial Fire Station Plaque Edinburgh

Ultimate Sacrifice 


Aye Mindit

plaque reads;

In recognition of all the firefighters in the world who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of others.

This plaque was unveiled by councillor K Harrold, convener of the Lothian and Borders Fire Board,

on the 11 September 2002, the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York

where 343 firefighters gave their lives

Memorial Plaque New York Firefighters Memorial Central Fire Station Edinburgh

Old Fire Engine

A fire engine from the past stands outside the museum in Lauriston Place that could have been used in the great fire in the High Street in the 1814

Old Horse Drawn Fire Truck Edinburgh

Heriots (Hospital) School

Tollcross Edinburgh

Heriot’s Gates in Lauriston Place Edinburgh was originally the back entrance to the School with the Front facing Edinburgh Castle

The present front Gates of Heriot’s Hospital (School).


The wealthy of Edinburgh would leave provision in their wills to have a Hospital Built, in 1650 George Heriot bequeathed a sum of money for a hospital to be built for the poor fatherless children of Edinburgh.  


George Heriot was the first others that followed were, George Watson who built a Hospital directly across from Heriot’s 1741.

William Fettes had a (Hospital) school built on his land at Comely Bank in 1870, The Merchant Maiden Hospital

(Mary Erskine’s) started in the cowgate in 1659, John Watson built a hospital at Ravelston 1762.


Hospital was the name for a boarding School where poor children were educated in all social skills and academic learning.

Heriot's school Back dooor Lauriston Place Edinburgh
Heriots School Quadrangle Edinburgh
Heriots School Front Door Edinburgh
George Heriot Statue Tollcross Edinburgh

Telfer Wall

The Telfer Wall at Lauriston Place Edinburgh

The Telfer wall was built around Heriot’s (Hospital) School for its protection against invaders as it stood outside Edinburgh City Wall (Flodden Wall). The wall was built as an extension to the Flodden Wall specifically to protect Heriots Hospital. 

Link Edinburgh City Wall

Telfer Wall Lauriston Place Edinburgh
Telfer Wall Heriot Place Edinburgh

Cameo Picture House

Tollcross Edinburgh

The Cameo picture house opened in 1914 as the Kings Cinema The picture house was the first in Scotland to have a mirrored screen. With over 600 seats and an orchestral as there were only silent movies until 1930 the picture house was fitted with sound.  By 1949 the picture house was requiring modernising and after refurbishment it change its name to what it is today The Cameo. In 1985 it became a multiplex with 3 screens and the main screen was restored to its original decor. 

Cameo Cinema. Tollcross Edinburgh

Kings Theatre

Tollcross Edinburgh

The King's Theatre Edinburgh opened on the 8th December 1906 

known as “The Grand Old Lady of Leven Street”

 Andrew Carnegie then one of the wealthiest men in the world (born in Dunfermline Fife living in America) laid the foundation stone which can still be seen today.

Harry Lauder a Portobello entertainer and to become the highest paid performer in his time performed on stage at the Kings Theatre on many occasions and a memorial plaque to him is in the theatre. 

Another name that worked here as a young man, was a local lad Sean Connery who went on to become known around the  world as James Bond and the rest is history. Sadly he died at the age of 90 in 2020.

The King's Theatre is a place in Edinburgh for the Pantomime at Christmas and many productions throughout the year.

Kings Theatre Tollcross Edinburgh

Barclay Church

Tollcross Edinburgh

In 1858 a Miss Mary Barclay of 7 Carlton Terrace died, leaving over £10,000 for the erection of a Free Church. The Church was built circa 1863 and named after Miss Barclay and the streets around the church also took their names from Miss Barclay. The first service took place in the new Barclay Church in December of 1864.  The First minister of the new Barclay Church was James Hood Wilson who remained until his death in 1906. In the church there is a bible in a glass case and its history is; The Bible is known as the ‘Vinegar Bible’ because of the misprint referring to the Parable of the Vineyard as the Parable of the Vinegar. The Church spire can be seen from a great distance as it is 230 foot high.

Barclay Church Tollcross Edinburgh.jpg
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