Edinburgh Old Town




St Mary's Street

Around 1950

Sketch of the Old Town of Edinburgh, including High Street, Cowgate and South Bridge  -  1830

©  peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk  -  based on a sketch provided by Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh.



Cowgate and St Mary's Street

Schools and Church

This sketch shows some of the some of the schools and a church that have been mentioned in the 'Recollections' section of this web site.  They are:

St Patrick's Church

St Patrick's School

St Ann's School with Junior and Senior Playgrounds.

Thank you to Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh, who attended both St Patrick's school and St Ann's school for telling me where all the buildings on this plan were located.

Around 1950

Most of the places shown on this plan are as they would have been known to children attending St Ann's school or St Patrick's school around 1950.

These include:

-  Bowling Green

-  Salvation Army

-  Dunbar & Co

-  Tannery

-  Wax Works

-  Working Men's Club

Arthur Street

Arthur Street, one of the streets of the Dumbiedykes area, for which there have been many recollections is at the bottom right-corner of this sketch.

 Coal Lorry accident at the foot of Arthur Street ©

Travel Lodge

The Travel Lodge hotel, in front of St Patrick's church, is a more recent development.



Matilda Martin

Coventry, West Middlands, England

Thank you to Matilda Martin who wrote:

Travel Lodge

"The Travel Lodge at the bottom of St Mary's Street was not there when I remember the street.

My aunt rented one of the tenement flats there.  I went to view it in 1957 with the intention of sub-letting it from her, when I married in that year."

Bowling Green

"I  have doubts about whether the bowling green was there around 1950, but I could not be 100% sure about that."

Salvation Army Shop

"Being newly-married and not having much money, I got some great bargains in the Salvation Army shop on the corner opposite my aunt's flat."

Matilda Martin, Coventry, West Midlands, England:  June 27, 2011



Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bob Henderson for replying to Matilda Martin's comments above.

Bob wrote:

Travel Lodge

"Travel Lodge was not there in 1950.  The building was the head office of a shipping line, then a sub office of the Scottish Widows.

The top floor, whilst Scottish Widows were there, was occupied by the Artificial Intelligence department of Edinburgh University. It was, of course, part of the regeneration of the area"

Bowling Green

"I think the bowling green was there in 1950.  It was laid after the water tank was demolished."

Salvation Army Shop

"The shop on the corner which Matilda refers to as the Salvation Army shop was in fact Stobo Tailors ***

***   Here are more memories of Stobo Tailors:

 When and where might this photo have been taken?  J Weinberg, Furniture Dealer ©


Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  June 27, 2011



Matilda Martin

Coventry, Warwickshire, England

Matilda Martin who replied

Stobo Tailors

"I know that the Salvation Army shop was originally Stobo Tailors.  My Mother took me there to buy my cotton summer dresses and I well remember the distinctive smell in the shop, which I loved.  I always assumed it was the smell of new cotton but was later told that it was the smell of the treatment used on the material, to give it that pristine look, which is probably why, after one wash , it never looked quite the same again.

My brothers both had their first long trouser suits, from the gents' department, which was across the road, on the other corner."


"We spent many long hours playing all sorts of games on the grass in front of  St. Patricks Church after the railings had been removed, for the war effort, so we thought.

Canon Bernie gave us permission to do so."

Matilda Martin, Coventry, Warwickshire, England:  June 28, 2011



Tony Ivanov

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Tony Ivanov who wrote:

Bowling Green

"I moved to the Canongate in 1952 and Iím positive the bowling green was there at that time. It belonged to St Patís Church."

Tony Ivanov, Boness, West Lothian, Scotland:  June 28, 2011


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