High School Yards

Close to the Cowgate, Edinburgh Old Town

1966 or earlier

Edinburgh Streets  -  High School Yards, around 1975

©  Copyright: Dave Henniker


Enlarge this photo

   Edinburgh Streets  -  High School Yards, around 1975 ©


High School Yards

High School Yards  -  Old Photo

Thank you to Dave Henniker, Edinburgh,  for allowing me to reproduce this photograph of  High School Yards, above.

Dave thought that this photo would have been taken in or shortly after 1975 when he bought his Yashica TL Electro SLR camera.

However, see 'Recollections 2' below.

High School Yards  -  Recent Photo

These houses still looked much the same when this photo was taken in 2007.

High School Yards  -  Just inside the old Edinburgh City Walls, to the south to the Cowgate and west of Pleasance ©

More Photos by Dave Henniker

To see more of Dave's photos of Edinburgh and some of elsewhere in Scotland, please see this Dave Henniker Photography web site.

Acknowledgement:  Dave Henniker, Edinburgh:  August 31, 2008




Lyndsay Montgomery
(now Linda Montgomery)

Old Town, Edinburgh

Thank you also to Lyndsay Montgomery, who now lives in High School Yards for telling me about this photo.  Lyndsay found a copy of the photo in  the house of an elderly lady who used to live in High School Yards when the building belonged to the council.

Edinburgh Streets  -  High School Yards, around 1975 ©

Lyndsay wrote:

Men on the Balcony

"The old lady couldn't remember the names of the men in the photo.  Maybe someone else will.

UPDATE:   Yes.  Please see 'Recollections 2' below.

Lyndsay added:

Single Ends

"The old lady thinks this photo dates from the 1950s or early-1960s.  At that time, all  these houses were 'single-ends' **.

On each balcony 4 doors can be seen, and there were another 2 inside each landing making a total of 6 families per landing, apart from the top floor where there were only 4 families.

Talk about 'Happy Families'!"

UPDATE:  Please also see 'Recollections 2' below.

Linda (now Lyndsay) Montgomery, Old Town, Edinburgh:  August 27, 2008




Lilian Hillier (née Dolan)

New Plymouth, New Zealand

Thank you also to Lilian Hillier for sending me the message below about the houses in High School Yards.

Edinburgh Streets  -  High School Yards, around 1975 ©

Lilian grew up in Portobello, then moved to New Zealand at the age of 20

Lilian wrote:

Men on the Balcony

"Dave Henniker who took this photo mentioned that he thought it was taken 1975.

Well, I have to correct that date as the man on the right, 'blethering' on the balcony is my Grandad, Charlie Dolan.  The  other man is Mr Archibald.  (My cousin confirms the identity of these two men.)

The house just behind my Grandad is No 20 where he lived.   My grandad died in 1966, so this photo must have been taken in 1966 or earlier."

'Single Ends'


'Room and Kitchen' Houses

"I was interested to see the photo of High School Yards that  was sent in by Linda Montgomery. 

Lyndsay Montgomery said that the houses were were all single ends.  In fact, they were not all single ends.  In fact, there were also some 'room and kitchen' houses.

My Dad and his brother and sisters lived in 20 High School Yards - the name of Dolan.   The houses at either end of the balcony were single ends and the houses facing the yard were room and kitchen.   The Dolan family lived in a room and kitchen.

My grandparents also rented a single end where their grown up daughters slept.   My Dad and his brother and sisters were all born in 20 High School Yards.   My Dad was born in 1916."

There were also two single ends in the passageway before stepping onto the balcony.   Tammy McIntosh lived in one of them.  He was my grandparents' neighbour.  And the Dignan family lived in the single end to the left of my grandparents' house.

There were also houses in the basement of the blocks.  My Grandmother cared for an elderly lady, Mrs McKay, who lived in one of the basement houses in the same block.

My Grandmother continued to live in her room and kitchen house until her death in the early 1970s.   The room and kitchen houses were never converted into single ends.

Any conversion of the houses would have only taken place after this time.  When I visited Edinburgh in 1991, the houses had all been changed.  They looked as they do in this picture that Linda Montgomery sent in.

Edinburgh Streets  -  High School Yards, around 1975 ©

Stair Lighting

"When I was a child visiting my grandparents, my Grandmother would get my Dad to light the gas light in the stair as we left. 

Electricity was in the houses but gas still lit the stairs.  That would have been in the 1950s."

Lilian Hillier (née Dolan), New Plymouth, New Zealand:  April 25 + 28, 2010



High School Wynd and High School Yards

Around Edinburgh