Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Edinburgh

Where and When?

Railings, Stairs and and Arch

Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken?

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to John Stirling, Currie, Edinburgh:  Oct 22, 2009                                    Photographer not known

 

Enlarge this photo

   Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

 

Railings, Stairs and an Arch

Old Photo

Thank you to John Stirling for allowing me to reproduce this photo.  The photo is taken from a collection of lantern slides that John rescued from being destroyed in 1974.  The photographer is not known.

Some of the other slides from this series are known to have been taken between about 1910 and 1920.

When and Where?

If you can suggest when and where this photo might have been taken, please email me.

Peter Stubbs:  October 25, 2009

 

Answers

Please click on one of the links below, or scroll down this page.

1.

John Stirling
Currie, Edinburgh

Tron Square

    High School Yards

    Portsburgh Square

2.

John Hadden
Edinburgh

-  Lampposts

3.

Tony Ivanov
Bo'ness West Lothian, Scotland

High School Yards

4.

Bryan Gourlay
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

West Port

5.

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

West Port

6.

John Hadden
Edinburgh

-  Not West Port

7.

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

Near Portsburgh Square

8.

Bon Henderson
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Portsburgh Square

-  Not Portsburgh Square

9.

Danny Callaghan
Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Abbeyhill?

10.

Bryan Gourlay
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

West Port

-  Not Abbeyhill

11.

Peter Stubbs
Edinburgh

Location still not known

12.

David Thomson
Broughton, Edinburgh

Portsburgh Square?

13.

David Thomson
Broughton, Edinburgh

Portsburgh Square?

14.

Terry McGuire
Coventry, Warwickshire, England

-  Johnstone Terrace?

15.

Allan Dodds
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Pleasance Theatre?

16.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

Johnstone Terrace?

17.

Thomas Harrison

Portsburgh Square?

    

Answer

1.

John Stirling

Currie, Edinburgh

Thank you to John Stirling  for commenting on where this photo might have been taken.

John wrote:

Tron Square?
High School Yards?
Portsburgh Square?

"Perhaps these railings were in Tron Square, or High School Yards, or Portsburgh Square."

John Stirling, Currie, Edinburgh:  October 23, 2009.

Answer

2.

John Hadden

Edinburgh

Thank you to John Hadden, Edinburgh, who wrote

Lamp Posts

"I've thought about where this photo might have been taken, a few times, but without success.

I notice that the street lamp in the foreground is a good match for the street lamps that can be seen on the old postcards of Abbey Strand and Comely Bank Avenue.

Does that make it more likely that the photograph was taken within Edinburgh City?"

John Stirling, Currie, Edinburgh:  October 23, 2009.

 

Answer

3.

Tony Ivanov

Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to John Hadden, Edinburgh, who wrote

High School Yards?

"When I first saw this photo on your web site, I thought of High School Yards, and the more I think of it the more I'm sure of it.

The edge of the building on the left of the photo with the staircase could well be the old city morgue as it was situated at this end of the street."

Tony Ivanov, Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland:  November 10, 2009

 

Answer

4.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who wrote:

Not High School Yards?

    Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

"It's surprising that none of your intrepid followers have pinned the location down yet.  I donít think itís the High School Yards. The buildings in the unidentified photo (above) donít look to be the same as those in this recent photo of High School Yards:

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

Bryan added:

West Port

"I have a vague memory that, many years ago, there was a gap in the buildings on the north side of the West Port between Lady Lawson Street and the Grassmarket where you could see through and down to some buildings in the background a bit like this.

    Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

Entry to the buildings may have been from about 100 yards or so along King's Stables Road from the Grass Market. If the photo was taken by the same chap who took those of St Patrickís Square and  St Maryís Street, the location is likely to be somewhere in Edinburgh."

I wish someone would put us out of our misery."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  November 12, 2009

 

Answer

5.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

West Port

I had a walk down West Port yesterday, and think that Bryan may well have the answer when he suggests that the photo might have been taken looking to the north from West Port towards King's Stables Lane and King's Stables Road.

There have been some changes in this area since the photo was taken, and not all of what remains can be easily accessed now.  I found a number of locked gates in the area near King's Stables Lane.

The buildings in Portsburgh Square (very close to this area, and also between West Port and King's Stables Road) are clearly not the same buildings as in the old photo - they are four stories high.  However, they  have very similar architecture to the lower buildings in the background of the 'mystery photo' at the top of this page.

Note the roof gables (some triangular, some curved), terraces with railings and the style of windows in the two photos below.

Portsburgh Square

Portsburgh Square on the north side of West Port close to the Grassmarket

©  peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk                                          Photograph taken September 11, 2007

Looking to the NE from West Port?

Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken?

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to John Stirling, Currie, Edinburgh:  Oct 22, 2009

 

Peter Stubbs: November 14, 2009

 

Answer

6.

John Hadden

Edinburgh

Thank you to John Hadden, Edinburgh, who wrote

Not West Port

"I'm afraid I don't agree that this is West Port.  West Port is not level, but the road in the foreground seems to be level.   (The railings look pretty level and the water on the road seems to be pooling and not draining away, except towards the gutter.)

I agree that the Portsburgh Square houses are higher than those in the  mystery picture.   I've looked at this 1893-94 map for other similar (but lower) houses in the area, but found no evidence of any.

I think the style of the Portsburgh Square houses and those in the mystery photo may suggest a similar purpose and a similar age, possibly council housing erected around the turn of the century?

John Hadden, Edinburgh:  November 15, 2009

 

Answer

7.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

Near Portsburgh Square

John's speculation about the possible date and purpose of the housing above is borne out by this description of Portsburgh Square in the book, 'The Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh' (John Gifford et al.):

"Balconied housing of 1900 by City Engineer's Dept".

Peter Stubbs:  November 15, 2009

 

Answer

8.

Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bob Henderson who wrote:

Portsburgh Square?

"From looking at this photo many times and reading all the suggestions I think this could well be Portsburgh Square

    Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

I do not think the cobbled roadway is the West Port, but a higher area behind the houses which would have faced the square. It could have been where the 1930s housing now stands in the West Port opposite Portsburgh square"

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  November 15, 2009

Not Portsburgh Square?

Thanks for your comments Bob.  The architecture of the houses in the background of the 'mystery photo' is certainly very similar to that in Portsburgh Square, as can be seen in Answer 5 above

However, the houses in the background in the 'mystery photo' are only two stories high, whereas those in Portsburgh Square houses are four stories high.

That's why I thought the houses may have been nearby, a short distance further west.  However, John Hadden has examined his old maps and not found any match there.

Peter Stubbs:  November 15, 2009

 

Answer

9.

Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Danny Callaghan who wrote:

Abbeyhill?

"I've looked at this picture many times and see the reasons why people have come up with their ideas.     From first seeing this picture, I thought it was in Abbeyhill, near Chatam's garage.

The levels don't seem right.  But I used to be there a lot as a kid and that was my first reaction on seeing the picture.

Someone prove me right!"

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  November 15, 2009

 

Answer

10.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay who wrote again:

West Port

"Itís surprising this location is proving to be such a challenge, as it must have been a pretty prominent feature of the Edinburgh landscape for many years.

Like John Hadden, I had noticed the level railings and road in the older photo compared with the todayís quite notable slope in West Port Ė but wonder whether the contour of the road has been changed at some point. There has been a lot of work in the West Port over the past 40 or so years.

The peculiar the design of the buildings in the background of the 'mystery photo' and the buildings in the Portsburgh Square photo is so similar,  suggesting there might be some sort of link, however tenuous."

Not Abbeyhill

"Iím sorry, I donít think I can prove that Danny Callaghan is right in his suggestion that it might be near the stretch of road beside Chathamís Honda dealership Ė as the terrain rises up quite steeply from Abbeyhill, eventually to Montrose Terrace.

The side entrance to Chathamís is in Abbey Mount on the spot where Stewartís Ballroom and the Regent Picture House (featured on your site) used to be."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  November 18, 2009

Similar Architecture

Bryan Gourlay mentions the similar architecture of buildings in the para 3 above.   I think the similarity is likely to be due to both buildings having been designed by the Edinburgh City Engineer's Dept.

If we can discover what other buildings that Dept designed around 1900, that might help to answer the question of where the 'mystery photo' was taken.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  November 18, 2009

 

Answer

11.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

Location still not known

I've recently contacted:

-  Historic Scotland and

-  RCAHMS (Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Scotland)

Edinburgh City Archivist

to see if anybody from either organisation might recognise the location of this photo or might be able to tell me what other buildings were designed, around 1900, by Edinburgh Council's City Engineer's Dept.

    Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

All have replied, but none has been able to help me.  So, now I have sent an email to the Edinburgh Room at Edinburgh Central Library to see if they can help.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 6 + 9, 2009

Update

The Edinburgh Room tell me that they have not had any luck yet in identifying the location, but they are still investigating

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 22, 2009

Answer

12.

Davie Thomson

Broughton, Edinburgh

Thank you to Davie Thomson who wrote:

Portsburgh Square?

"I would say that this photo is of the buildings in Portsburgh Square in the West Port area."

Davie Thomson, Broughton, Edinburgh:  December 11, 20011

Not Portsburgh Square?

Hi Davie.  Thanks for your comments about the old photo.  I've not received any messages about that photo for a couple of years, so it's good to see the subject opened up again.

Portsburgh Square is the location that I thought of when I first saw the old photo.  The buildings are certainly in the same style as those in Portsburgh Square.  They look to me as if they have been designed by the same person as those in Portsburgh Square (Edinburgh City Engineers Dept, 1900) but they do not seem to be an exact match.

The photo in Answer 5 above shows that the buildings in Portsburgh Square are 4-storeys high, but those in this photo are only 2 storeys high:

    Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

I have contacted the City of Edinburgh Council (and Historic Scotland and various other authorities) to see if anybody knows of any other buildings designed by the Edinburgh City Engineers Dept around 1900, but nobody has come up with any answers yet.

Peter Stubbs:  December 12, 2011

Answer

13.

Davie Thomson

Broughton, Edinburgh

Davie Thomson added

Portsburgh Square?

"The present layout of Portsburgh Square is different from when I last saw it, away back in the 1960s.  I has been changed at the entrance and painted etc., which distracts from the original grey harling and  russet coloured stone archwork."

Davie Thomson, Broughton, Edinburgh:  December 12, 20011

Not Portsburgh Square?

Hi David.  My main concern about Portsburgh Square is still that Portsburgh Square is four storeys high, but the building in the photo below is only 2 storeys high.

Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

Peter Stubbs:  December 12, 2011

 

Reply

14.

Terry McGuire

Coventry, Warwickshire, England

Thank you to Terry McGuire who wrote:

Johnstone Terrace?

    Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

"I think these are the old Married Quarters that lay between Castlehill and Johnstone Terrace, these were accessible through the small lane at Cannonball House, that took you down to Johnstone Terrace and the Grassmarket"

Terry McGuire, Coventry, Warwickshire, England:  December 12, 2011

Thanks for the suggestion Terry.  I'll check that out.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 12, 2011

 

Reply

15.

Allan Dodds

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Thank you to Allan Dodds who wrote:

Pleasance Theatre?

   Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

"This scene looks very like the Pleasance Theatre, taken from a viewpoint just below Roxburgh Street. However, there are architectural differences. I wonder if the facade was modernised at some date.

The scene looks very familiar to me as I attended Uni in that area.  Our lecture hall was actually the Pleasance Theatre at one stage - no pun intended!"

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  December 12, 2011

Thanks for the suggestion Terry.  I'll check that out.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 12, 2011

Update

Not Pleasance Theatre

I visited The Pleasance today but I could not find any buildings matching those in the old photo.

      Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

I did find arches in the buildings at The Pleasance, but none of them matched the one in the photo above or looked as if it might have been a modified version of the one in the old photo.

More significantly, the roof line and the pattern of windows looked very different from that of the old photo.  So I don't think the old photo could have been taken at The Pleasance.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 14, 2011

Reply

16.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

I had no replies on this topic for over two years.  Now five replies have arrived within the last 24 hours.  Thank you to Frank Ferri for sending the reply below.

Frank and Terry (14 above) both reached the same conclusion independently, and sent me their suggestions at about the same time.  Frank wrote:

Johnstone Terrace?

      Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

"Is this not the old army quarters that used to be on Johnstone Terrace, opposite the Edinburgh Castle?"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven:  December 12, 2011

Update

Not Johnston Terrace

I visited old army married quarters on the south side of Johnston Terrace, across the road from Castle Rock today, but the buildings that I found did not match those in the photo below.

      Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

The Johnston Terrace buildings did not appear to have an arch.  There were several gables, but their shapes were very different from those in the old photo above.  The gables in the Johnston Terrace buildings faced in different directions and were all crow-stepped.    So I don't think the old photo could have been taken at Johnston Terrace

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 14, 2011

Reply

17.

Thomas Harrison

Thank you to Thomas Harrison who wrote:

Portsburgh Square?

  Where and when was this photograph of railings, stairs and an arch taken? ©

"This photo is familiar.  I believe that is of  of Portsburgh  Square in the West Port. My grandmother lived in the house on the ground floor on the right hand side of the arch.  However I think it may have changed later to the one that I remember.

The entrance that I remember, going down to lower tenement, was wider with stone pillars on either side.  It had access to balcony flats, where my auntie Tishy  (real name, Patricia) lived in the 1980s.

I was born in 1936 so this photo must pre-date that. I hope this helps your  contributors in identifying this wonderful find."

Thomas Harrison:  12 March 2017

 

 

Pictures:  Where is it?

Around Edinburgh

    

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks