Engraving from Old & New Edinburgh - published 1890

Echo Bank



Old houses at Echo Bank

engraving from 'Old & New Edinburgh'  -  Edinburgh University

  For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk


Old Engraving

Echo Bank, Newington

I have not found any reference to Echo Bank in recent books.

However, Cassell's Old & New Edinburgh by James Grant, published c.1890, from which the engraving above is taken, describes Echo Bank as being about 1/3 mile NW of Cameron Toll.


Here are some extracts from Old & New Edinburgh:

"The year 1800 saw the whole locality [Newington] open and arable fields, save where stood the old houses of Mayfield at the Mayfield Loan, a few cottages at Echo Bank, ant others at Powburn."
[Old & New Edinburgh, Vol 3:  p.50]

"Proceeding along the old Dalkeith Road, near Echo Bank, a gate and handsome lodge lead to Newington Cemetery, with a terrace and line of vaults."
[Old & New Edinburgh, Vol 3Vol 3:  p.57]



Archie Young

Moredun, Edinburgh

Echo Bank

"Echo Bank village, shown in this old engraving, was situated opposite where the gates of Newington Cemetery are and to the left.

Engraving of old houses at Echo Bank, Newington

The village is shown on the 1852 map below.

The Google photo below shows what is at this location today

My friend's old mother was born at Echo Bank."

Archie Young, Moredun, Edinburgh:  August 24, 2011


1852 Map

Echo Bank Cottages, Newington

Ordnance Survey Map, 1852, showing Echo Bank, Newington

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Archie Young, Moredun, Edinburgh


Google Earth

Site of the former Echo Bank Cottages, Newington

Google Earth photo showing site of Echo Bank, Newington

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Archie Young, Moredun, Edinburgh




Alan Wilson

Trinity, Edinburgh

Newington Cemetery

"I now know why Newington Cemetery was previously known as Echobank Cemetery. 

I was there a few years ago making a photographic record of the Jewish Section which is on your left as you go through the gates.

Last time I was there I noticed that it had deteriorated even further"

Alan Wilson, Trinity, Edinburgh:  August 29, 2011




Archie Young

Moredun, Edinburgh

Thank you to Archie Young for writing again.

Archie wrote:

The Village

"Here is a photo I had of Echo Bank at Newington.  The village  started to diminish in 1860 which was a shame.  It seems to have given way to the money class so that they could build their grand houses of the time."

    Echo Bank, Newington, Edinburgh

The Erskine Family

"I have no idea who took the photo but I believe that it came from the family collection of a grand old lady, Mrs. Erskine, and that it was taken by a family member.  Mrs Erskine was born at Echo Bank and who owned it. 

The child in the doorway in this photo was Mrs Erskine's grandmother, and the man with the cart was also one of the Erskine family.  The Erskine family were famous Carters."

Move to Gilmerton

"When Echo Bank was more or less raised to the ground,   the family moved up to Gilmerton, where they had a piece of ground at Ravenscroft Place.

There, they were the second Carters in the area, the others were the Innes family who built the terraced houses on the the right-hand side of Drum Street heading towards Dalkeith."

Archie Young, Moredun, Edinburgh:  September 7+12, 2011



David Bain

Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England

Thank you to David Bain who wrote:

Great  Grandparents

"My great grandparents lived at Echo Bank before moving to Kingston Avenue, but as I remember the census pages don't have house numbers on them so I can't say which house they may have occupied."

The Innes and Erskine Families

"The Innes and the Erskine families were still coal merchants and haulage contractors in Gilmerton when I lived there, around 1958 to-1979."

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  September 20, 2011



George Brodie

Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, Scotland

George Brodie wrote:

Echo Bank

The Name

"All my elderly uncles and aunties were buried at Echo Bank.

I recall a story my Dad told me that in the long ago:

'The girls, on their way to the park with the washing would yell out towards Arthur's Seat and get an echo back, but through the years echo back became echo bank which it remains.''

It's a thought."

George Brodie, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, Scotland:  July 19, 2012


Hi George.  Yes, Stuart Harris in his book, 'The Place Names of Edinburgh' gives a similar story about the derivation of the name, Echo Bank.

He writes:

"Echobank was north of the (Cameron Bridge) junction in the southwest corner of Echo Park of Priestfield, evidently named as the place where the echo from the Echoing Rock on Arthur's Seat could be heard."

[The Place Names of Edinburgh, pp.152-3]

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 20, 2012



John Dickson

Royston, Edinburgh

Thank you to John Dickson who added:

Echo Bank

The Name

"Here is an extract from a book called 'The Print of His Shoe', published 1906.

'Probably the euphonious name of Echo Bank had been originally derived from the circumstance that, at the foot of Arthur's Seat, there is an echoing rock, where words loudly spoken die away over the site of the village.

The hamlet, including Greig's Hall, contained sixty-eight families, consisting of 'artisans, labourers and carters.  As has been formerly stated, evangelistic services were regularly conducted.' "

John Dickson, Royston, Edinburgh:  July 21, 2012



Michael Shiells

Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear, England

Thank you to Michael Shiells for posting a message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook.

Michael wrote:

Echo Bank

My Great Great Grandparents

"My Great Great Grandparents lived at No.28 Echo Bank in the 1860s.  Their names were Michael and Jane Bain.  Their daughter, Jane Bain, married my Great Grandfather, David Shiells in 1876, by which time she was living in Leith."

Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear, England

 Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook, August 10, 012