News about

The White House

Niddrie Mains Road, Craigmillar

The Whitehouse Public House, Craigmillar ©

Built 1936

The art deco White House public house was designed by William Innes Thomson.  It was built in 1936.

The White House is a 'B-listed' building, but its condition is thought to have deteriorated as it has lain empty for the past five years, to 2006.  It is now on the Buildings at Risk list.

The Edinburgh heritage body The Cockburn Association is campaigning for Edinburgh City Council to step in  with a compulsory purchase order to save the building if repairs are not carried out within the next few months (from April 2006).




Eric Gold
known to many as Eric McKenzie
East London

Thank you to Eric Gold, formerly from Dumbiedykes then Craigmillar, and now living in London for sending me his recollections.

Eric wrote:

'The Whitehoose'

"With all the new building work in Edinburgh, I wonder what will happen to the Whitehoose Pub?"

The Whitehouse Public House, Craigmillar ©

Advert - 1970s

"Just before I left Edinburgh in the 1970's there was an ad in the jobs column saying  (ha ha ha):


"An Art Deco bar requires staff.  Clientele are very happy go lucky and it will be an experience that one will never forget.  Must be experienced, and if you can handle yourself well it would be an asset".

I phoned up and the job was 'The Whitehoose'. I will never forget that.  Still, they did sell a great pint like the Granton Tap bar."

Eric added:


"I also remember a Governor of the pub saying the Whitehoose had ambiance:  mind you he was drunk all the time (ha ha ha).

The Whitehoose was full of characters,  even the Alsatians.  I've never known a bar with so many Alsatians wandering around a joint in my whole life.

In Central America, Costa Rica, when I was on a small ship, we had horses and pigs just walk through - what a joint!  The place was called 'Corinto',  a nice wee place.

Eric Gold:  East London, November 20, 2006


The White House

To be Refurbished

The White House pub in Niddrie Mains Road was built in 1936 as one of Edinburgh's original roadhouses.  It later became a popular pub for the Craigmillar area but closed around 2000,  It has since deteriorated badly and had a serious fire five years ago, in 2005.

However, the developer, Park has now taken over the building and has announced plans to restore it to its former glory, as part of a £200m scheme to regenerate Craigmillar.

The White House and adjoining shops are to given back their original art deco features.  The White House will be given a new roof, outside rendering, windows and doors.

The building will first house a temporary exhibition on the history of the Craigmillar area.  Craigmillar Community Arts group has a large collection of photos that could be included in this exhibition.  No firm timescale has yet been set for the reopening.

In the longer term The White House might become a pub or Café bar.  Park will have discussions soon to see what use the local community would like to see for the building.

Edinburgh Evening News:  January 28, 2010, p.21



Eric Gold
known to many as Eric McKenzie
East London

Eric Gold comments below on the recently restored White House.  Eric lived in Dumbiedykes, then Craigmillar, before going to sea and working on the Queen Mary.


"The lounge bay window reminds me of the Queen Mary’s card room.  Both the Queen Mary and the Whitehoose were built in 1936."

White House, Refurbished

     The White House, Craigmillar  -  Restored and Open - March 2011 ©

"They should make The Whitehoose into a wee jazz club, but it is expected to become Bistro and Arts Centre.

I'll never forget what my auntie said to me years ago.  She remembered the Whitehoose when it was opened.  The governor was mad on jazz.  You could hear the wireless or radiogram playing Billie Holliday and the big names in jazz along Niddrie Mains Road.  The customers then liked the music too."

Eric Gold:  East London, November 20, 2006


 Craigmillar Around Edinburgh

Recollections of Craigmillar