Granton House


Granton House was located to the north of West Granton Road , west of the present buildings of Edinburgh’s Telford College.


The house was apparently built for the Earl of Hopetoun in 1807, on land owned by the Duke of Buccleuch near to the Firth of Forth. The house was situated immediately to the west of Gypsy Brae.

Sir Walter Scottexternal link visited the house on several occasions in the early 1820s, and it has been reported that Florence Nightingaleexternal link once stayed at the house in 1857.

From 1863 it was owned by Sir John McNeill GCB of the Colonsay family. His son, Major General Sir John Carstairs McNeillexternal link had a distinguished army career. Sir John McNeill died in 1883 and the house passed to Lord Giffordexternal link, founder of the Gifford Lectures on Natural Theology at several Scottish universities. Lord Gifford died in 1887.

The house was purchased by the Edinburgh and Leith Corporations Gas Commissioners around the time that Granton Gas Works was built – the works opened in 1902 – for use as the official residence of the Chief Engineer and Manager. The first Chief Engineer and Manager to occupy the house was Mr W R Herring. When Edinburgh and Leith amalgamated in 1920, the house passed to Edinburgh Corporation.

From 1946 Edinburgh Corporation used the property to house homeless families following World War II. On 1 January 1954 it was destroyed in a disastrous fire. All the residents were rescued, but three children were overcome by smoke and were taken to the Western General Hospital.


Details of the architect are not known. The building has been described as a 24 room three-storey mansion with a balustraded roof.

Recent History

The site of Granton House was adjacent to Granton Gas Works, and appears to have been taken into the Gas Works site following the fire.

The area is at present (2009) being redeveloped.

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