Jeanie Deans' Cottage

and St Leonard's Bank

Old Postcard

Here is a postcard of Jeanie Deans' cottage on the western edge of Holyrood Park, in the early 1900s

Jeanie Dean's Cottage

©  Copyright: For permission to reproduce, please contact


The Same Location  -  2006

Below is a recent photograph of the same location, about a hundred years later, with the cottage now demolished, apart from one low wall.

However, most of the houses in the street in the background, St Leonard's Bank, are still standing and easily recognised.

Photograph - 2006

The site of Jeanie Deans Cottage on the western edge of Holyrood Park  -  April 2006

©  Copyright: For permission to reproduce, please contact      Photograph taken April 17, 2006,  2.22pm


The Same Location  -  2006

St Leonard's Bank

The view above looks back from Holyrood Park, to the SW down St Leonard's Bank.

This view looks to the east, towards Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park, from the end of St Leonard's bank:

   Entrance to Holyrood Park at the southern end of St Leonard's Bank ©



1, 2, 3

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Jeanie Deans' Cottage

Jeanie Deans was the main character in Sir Walter Scott's story "The Heart of Midlothian".  She travelled to London to appeal on behalf of her sister who had been wrongly charged of child murder.

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay for this description of where Jeanie Deans Cottage stood, beside Holyrood Park.

Bryan wrote:


Jeanie Deans' Cottage

"Jeanie Deans' cottage was right on edge of Holyrood Park, high up, overlooking the Queens Drive - at the end of where St Leonards Bank.  It used to be between St Leonards Station & Coal Depot and the park.

I ran past the cottage many times as a kid, as we marauded about the park, and wouldn't be surprised to find it is still there. I'd like to think it has been preserved.  I'll have a look some time.

If you go down Park Road at the side of the Commonwealth Pool and, immediately you enter the park, turn left along the path right behind the old brewery walls, go up the steps at the end.  Jeanie Deans' cottage was not very far along on your right.

There's been a lot of rebuilding around there, so it's probably very different nowadays.  I've a funny feeling, from glancing in that direction, that some of the old buildings are still there."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland, April 2006

Jeanie Deans' cottage appears beneath the blue line a the lower right-hand corner of this 1915 map.    

Peter Stubbs, April 18, 2006


Jeanie Deans

"Jeanie Deans was one of Sir Walter Scott's characters.  She was based on Helen Walker who lived in Irongray near Dumfries all her life, apart from her epic journey to London to win a pardon for her sister. Scott heard her story from someone who knew her many years later.

She died in 1791 and is buried in Irongray churchyard, where Sir Walter Scott ultimately arranged for a headstone to be erected

One of the statues on the Scott monument represents Jeanie Deans."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland, April 2006


Jeanie Deans' Cottage


Both Bryan Gourlay and I independently had a look around the St Leonard's area earlier this week.  Unfortunately, we found that Jeanie Deans' cottage had gone.  I took the second photograph on this page showing where it once stood.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh, April 18, 2006

Bryan says: 

"I'm sure it was there 50 years or so ago!"

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland, April 2006




Jack Craig

Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Thank you to Jack Craig, Silverknowes, Edinburgh who wrote:

The Flat Roofed House

"The flat roofed house in this photo was my grandfather's."

    The site of Jeanie Deans Cottage on the western edge of Holyrood Park  -  April 2006 ©

Shoemaker Shops

"My grandfather was George Craig who had two shoemaker shops, one in West Crosscauseway and the other at 33 Chambers Street on the site of the Museum of Scotland

His son, my father, had the Chamber Street shop after grandfather died, and his daughter, my Auntie Jen, had the Crosscauseway shop.

My father died at the age of 45 in 1937 and the war came in 1939. The shop had to go and likewise our house at 435 Gilmerton Road. We moved into town to 14 Montague Street only a stones throw from St Leonard’s Bank. Therefore my playground became the Kings Park (as it was known then, the King still being alive)."

James Clark’s School

"I went to Preston Street School then James Clark’s or 'Jimmy’s'.  I am now 78 and counting.  Thanks for a good and informative site. It brings back good memories."

Jack Craig, Silverknowes, Edinburgh, April 2006




Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Bryan Gourlay wrote, after searching for Jeanie Deans' cottage in April 2006:

St Leonard's Bank

"The good news is that St Leonards Bank is still there. It's a quiet, charming street with stunning views over Holyrood Park to Salisbury Crags and the Radical Road. It has a rich mixture of old buildings that have well outlasted the tenement slums of the nearby St Leonards and Dumbiedykes areas.

You can drive along to the end of St Leonards Bank and turn at the end. James Clark's secondary school, that some of your readers mention, is on the left at the corner of St Leonards Lane and Bank - long turned into flats."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland, April 2006




Jean Thewlis

Glasgow, Scotland

Thank you to Jean Thewlis for posting this comment in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Jean wrote:

St Leonard's Bank

"My fraternal grandmother lived in Edinburgh in St. Leonards Bank, opposite Jeanie Deans' Cottage.

Jack Craig, one of the contributors above,  mentioned that his father owned the house in a photo opposite Jeanie Deans' cottage. That house was also owned by my Great Auntie Jenny (Craig) so I am assuming that Jack Craig must be some kind of distant relation.  We had many happy holidays there."

Jean Thewlis, Glasgow, Scotland: Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book, June 26, 2010

Note for Jean Thewlis

Hi Jean.  Thanks for adding your comment above to the EdinPhoto web site.  If you'd like to email me, I can pass on Jack Craig's email address to you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh, June 27, 2010




Richard Middlemiss

Thank you to Richard Middlemiss who wrote:

St Leonard's Bank

"St. Leonards Bank did not always go all the way up to Jeanie Deans cottage.

The last 10 or so cottages (including Jeanie Deans) were at one time in a street called  'Salisbury Bank'.

The street name is still engraved on the wall of one of these cottages, as are the house numbers."

Richard Middlemiss:  April 16, 2012


Jeanie Deans

Edinburgh Recollections


St Leonard's


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