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Inch House

Located a quarter-mile (0.5 km) southeast of Cameron Toll and 2 miles (3 km) southeast of the centre of Edinburgh, Inch House is a much altered 17th century L-plan tower house comprising three storeys and a garret. Its former estate has been developed as Inch Park and the adjacent public housing estate to the south, known as The Inch. Once referred to as the King's Inch, King James II granted these lands to the monks of Holyrood Abbey in the 15th century. It later passed to the Forresters of Corstorphine who built a hunting lodge here, on an island surrounded by the Braid Burn. The estate was bought by the Winram family in 1607 and it was James Winram who built the earliest dated section of the current house in 1617, most-likely incorporating parts of the earlier structure such as the sizeable vaulted chamber on the ground floor. Inch House was extended to the northeast in 1634 but was seized by Oliver Cromwell's invading army in 1650, George Winram having been killed fighting for the Royalists in the Battle of Dunbar. It passed to the Gilmours of Craigmillar Castle in 1660 and was used to quarter government troops sent to put down the Jacobite Rising of 1745. The Gilmours added a west wing in the 18th Century and commissioned architectural historians MacGibbon & Ross to significantly extend and remodel the property in 1891. Many fine original features survive.

The Gilmours sold the property to Edinburgh Corporation in 1946 and it served first as a primary school and then, from 1968, as a community centre. It was damaged by fire in 1973, but subsequently restored. The City of Edinburgh Council's plant and tree nursery, which includes a training centre, lies adjacent, within the former walled garden.


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