Craigentinny House

Detail of Craigentinny House
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Detail of Craigentinny House

Craigentinny House is a large 16th Century mansion located on Loaning Road in the district of Restalrig, some 2 miles (3 km) east of Princes Street (Edinburgh). Built originally for the Nisbets of Dean, it was significantly extended in the 17th Century. It was then bought by William Miller, a wealthy Edinburgh seed merchant, around 1760 and he constructed a new entrance on the north side, as well as remodelling the interior. His grandson, the eccentric William Henry (Christie) Miller (1789 - 1848), commissioned David Rhind (1808-83) who sympathetically extended and modernised the house in 1849. He lived most of his life in England and became Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme (1830). However, he died at Craigentinny, and was buried on the estate, marked by what is now referred to as the 'Craigentinny Marbles'.

The house was acquired by the City Corporation and it became an early example of a Community Centre in 1937. During the Second World War Rhind's East Wing was destroyed, having been hit by two German bombs. Lothian Regional Council used the building as part of their Social Work Department in 1978 and were responsible for the completely inappropriate modern extension, which replaced the East Wing. Edinburgh Council, their successor authority, continues to use the building as a Social Work and Community Education Centre.

Public housing developed around the house from the 1930s to form the district of Restalrig and, to the east, private housing was developed around the same time on its estate into the adjacent district of Craigentinny.

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