Premises   Queen St    20 George St   38 N Castle   117 George St   16 Royal T   68 Great K


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EPS Premises

38 North Castle Street

38 North Castle Street appears as on this map


Purchase of 38 North Castle Street

Edinburgh Photographic Society’s search for premises was successful.  In 1892, the Society purchased premises in Central Edinburgh, close to George Street  -  the top floor of 38 Castle Street.

The premises were bought for £920, funded partly by issuing £5 Debentures, limited to three per member and bearing 5% interest, to a total of £400.  The rest was to be raised by loan amounting to £650, which included £130, for alterations and furnishings.

Please click below to see a plan of the premises, published in Transactions  of Edinburgh Photographic Society,

Edinburgh Photographic Society Premises  -  Plan of 38 Castle Street in 1892 ©


Purchase of 38 North Castle Street

Conversion of Premises

Edinburgh Photographic Society's new premises at 38 Castle Street  were converted to include kitchen, library, reading room and darkrooms.

EPS Members set about cleaning the premises, spending £1 5s 10d on brushes and other materials for cleaning:

Brushes and Cleaning Materials

EPS Receipt for Brushes  -  1892

©  Reproduced by courtesy of Edinburgh Photographic Society

EPS Receipt for Brushes (detail)  -  1892

1 long brush

1 small brush

2 black sh brushes

1 dusting brush

1 scrubbing brush

1 pail

1 shovel

   Brunswick Black

   Polishing Paste

   Shammy Leather

1 Doz. Dusters

   Floor Cloths

3 Bars Soap

1 St Soda

   Black Lead


1 Tin B Soap

   Ballam for ? Grate

3s 0d

1s 3d

2s 6d


1s 0d

1s 3d

1s 6d

1s 0d



3s 0d

1s 6d

2s 6d

1s 0d


1s 2d


2s 0d

£1  5s 10d

©  Reproduced by courtesy of Edinburgh Photographic Society



Too small

By 1898, EPS had almost 500 Members, and the Castle Street premises were already too small. It was agreed that the proceeds from EPS Popular Evenings should be devoted to a fund for acquiring new and better premises.

Improvements to Premises

In 1905, EPS took over rooms previously occupied by the housekeeper at 38 Castle Street.  Conversion of these rooms was planned at a cost of £200.

"We have determined to make the front room into an enlarging room containing daylight and artificial light enlarging apparatus, the latter to have electricity as the illuminant.  

The large room at the back will be fitted as a dark room; one side having ruby lights for plates and the other yellow for bromide work, with a screen dividing one side from the other.

All the lights will be electric and there will be direct communication between the enlarging room and the dark rooms."

Further improvements were made in 1925

“[The society] transformed a rather dismal and unsuitable hall into a particularly bright and attractive apartment, well suited for exhibition purposes.”


Too high

In 1911 one member made an appeal for premises nearer the ground:

“Had I ance mair my youthfu’ prime,

When Arthur’s Seat I aft did climb,

I wadna try my puff sae sair,

To climb a toilsome flicht o’ stairs

But hech, sirs! Noo losh me!  It seems

like ane o’ Jacob’s ten-mile dreams

An’ sair’s my fecht (when sair’s my feet)

To climb the stair in Castle Street

My grievance noo ye’ll quickly guess,

I fein would see our E.P.S.

In rooms mair flash, no just sae high,

Wi mair o’ foreground, and less sky.”

EPS remained at 38 Castle Street until the premises were sold for £950 in 1925.


39 Castle Street

Sir Walter Scott

Across the road from the EPS premises at 38 Castle Street was No 39, a house once occupied for many years by Sir Walter Scott.  This house featured in an attractive sketch by JMW Turner

Scott lived at several premises in the New Town of Edinburgh.

-   On December 24, 1797, Scott married Charlotte Carpenter.  They moved into a rented house at 50 George Street.

-   In Autumn 1798,  the couple moved to10 South Castle Street.

-   Around 1801, following the birth of their two children,  Charlotte Sophia  and Walter, the family moved to  a new spacious, three-story, grey-stone dwelling at 39 North Castle Street (opposite what was to become the EPS Premises at No 38).

   This remained Scott's Edinburgh home until financial disaster struck in 1826

Scott's addresses (above) have been taken from  Edinburgh University Library 'Walter Scott Digital Archive'


Premises   Queen St    20 George St   38 N Castle   117 George St   16 Royal T   68 Great K


Please click here to find a map showing the route to 68 Great King Street.