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Restalrig


City of Edinburgh

Victor's Newsagent, Restalrig
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Victor's Newsagent, Restalrig

A district and old village of East Edinburgh, lying between Meadowbank and Craigentinny. In the 12th C. Restalrig (or Lestalric as it was then known) was a Barony of the Logan family. Until 1925, Restalrig was a small village, but thereafter a significant public housing estate was quickly developed to the north and east of this old village.

Indeed, the Edinburgh city fathers have much to answer for in this area; Restalrig House (early 19th C.) was demolished in 1963 to make way for a tower-block, which was given the same name, and Hawkhill House, an 18th C. mansion designed by John Adam (1721-92), was demolished in 1971. Next to Restalrig House is another tower-block, Lochend House, although in this case the original building remains, lying just to the west in the small district of Lochend.

The 16th Century Craigentinny House survives on the north side of Loaning Road, despite being hit by a German bomb during World War II. Further along Loaning Road, a public housing block was destroyed by bombs from the same aeroplane and the different style of the in-filled replacement remains evident today.

The core of old Restalrig just about survives around the historic St Margaret's Parish Church. The 15th Century St. Triduana's Well lies next to the church in the old kirkyard and there is a Deanery opposite.

Restalrig also has a place in history as the landing site for the first manned hot-air balloon flight on the British mainland. On the 27th August 1784, James Tytler, a local journalist and polymath, took off from Abbeyhill and rose to a height of 105m (350 feet) before safely landing at Restalrig.


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