In 1863, the house passed to Sir John McNeill G C B, of the Colonsay
family, third son of McNeill of Colonsay.
In 1883, on the death of Sir John McNeill, the house passed to Lord
Gifford who founded the Gifford Lectures on Natural theology at the
Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Aberdeen.
It has been reported that one of those who stayed at the house was
Florence Nightingale - but when did she visit the house?
James Gracie says that the visit was while John McNeill was staying at
the house (1863-1883) and that she had come to Edinburgh to advise on
the layout of the New
Royal Infirmary. However the building of the new hospital in
Lauriston Place did not commence until 1872.
A report in The Scotsman on January 2, 1954 refers to a visit to the
Florence Nightingale in 1857, after which she wrote:
"I think Granton House is the most poetic place I ever saw."
Sources: Old & New Edinburgh (Grant), vol.3, p.311
Stranger on the Shore (James Gracie) p.38
Edinburgh Evening News, January 2, 1954