Edinburgh Today

Donaldson's College

0Donaldson's School - Photograph by Begbie 

Playfair Building

announced 2002

Donaldson's College is an A-listed building, designed by Playfair.  It lies immediately to the north of West Coates, part of the main route to Glasgow, a short distance from Haymarket.

It  is currently a School for the Deaf.  However, the Trustees of the school announced in 2002 that in order to solve their ongoing financial problems, they proposed to sell the school.

It was reported in July 2003 that the building had, in fact, been sold for 15m to property developer Cala, and is expected to be converted into at least a hundred luxury flats - possibly very many more.  Other flats are also expected to be built in the grounds, but the front lawn, and the view of the building from West Coats is to be retained.

Architectural and heritage bodies have expressed some disappointment that the building could not be retained for some institutional use.

The School for the Deaf is expected to remain in the building for at least five years, then to move to a new site at Craighall, near Musselburgh, beside the new campus for Queen Margaret University College.

Edinburgh Evening News  8 July 2003, pp. 1,2

announced 2004

Donaldson's College was built in 1851 with a legacy from the estate of the publisher, Sir James Donaldson.  The college is currently used by Donaldson's School for the Deaf.  However the school has found upkeep of the building to be expensive and plans to move to a new building on a former industrial site in Linlithgow in 2007. 

The developers, Cala Homes announced the following proposals on 30 September 2004.  They hope to commence work within three years, subject to being given planning permission to proceed:

-  convert the create old college into 63 luxury flats.

-  create 72 new homes in a crescent shape behind the college.

-  convert the former chapel to a private cinema

-  create an underground car park

-  retain the grounds in front of the college.


Edinburgh Evening News  30 September 2004, pp. 6,7

Planning Permission
to be sought - May 2005

It is estimated that this development will cost 80m.  The plans will also include restoring the two original gatehouses and converting them into flats.

Planning permission is to be sought in May 2005.  The plans have already won the support of Historic Scotland, the Royal Fine Arts Commission for Scotland and Edinburgh Council Officials.

Edinburgh Evening News  12 May 2005, p.17.

Move to Linlithgow

Donaldson's College moved from their school at West Coates to a new purpose-built school at Linlithgow at the start of 2008.

Donaldson's College, Linlithgow, West Lothian  -  2008

Edinburgh's 'Doors Open Day' in September 2007 offered a last opportunity for the public to look around Donaldson's College, Edinburgh before it closed to be converted into apartments.

Donaldson's College, West Coates, Edinburgh  -  September 2007




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