A small district of N Central Edinburgh, on the eastern edge of the New Town, Gayfield lies at the top of Leith Walk, a quarter-mile (0.5 km) northeast of Princes Street. The tree-lined Gayfield Square is situated at the core of the district, with a small area of parkland at its centre which has been managed by the City of Edinburgh since 1886. Most of the properties around the Square are listed for their architectural or historical importance. Gayfield Square Police Station features in the Inspector Rebus novels written by Ian Rankin (b. 1960). Gayfield House on East London Street was built in 1763 for Lord Thomas Erskine (1705-66), the eldest son of 'Bobbing John', the 6th Earl of Mar (1675 - 1732), and is now A-listed. The name seems to have been established about the same time, suggesting a happy place, although the city's gay district or Pink Triangle lies immediately to the south.

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