An affluent residential district of the City of Edinburgh, Marchmont lies to the south of the Meadows, a mile (1.5 km) south of the city centre. Developed on part of the old Borough Muir, to the east of Bruntsfield, the small district of Sciennes lies to the east and the Grange lies to the south. Named in honour of his wife's family (descendants of the Earl of Marchmont) by Sir George Warrender (1825 - 1901) who fued much of this area for housing development from 1869. Marchmont is characterised by its desirable Victorian bay-windowed flats in sweeping crescents of sandstone Scots-Baronial style tenement blocks. The grander larger flats occupy the Warrender area to the west, becoming more plain to the east. Most of the area was developed in the 1870s and 1880s and there has been little change to its structure since then, yet Marchmont remains popular with young professionals and students, now forming part of a Conservation Area. Many of the streets are still cobbled, adding to the character of the district.
Also noted for its café-culture, other amenities include the Warrender Swim Centre, St. Catherine's Argyle and Marchmont St. Giles churches, James Gillespie's Primary School and James Gillespie's High School, which once counted Muriel Spark as a pupil and became the focus of her book, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Marchmont was 'home' to Inspector Rebus, the detective in the novels of Ian Rankin (b.1960).