Craigmillar, Edinburgh, Homes, Redevelopment, Demolition, Tenement, Scotland, Images

Craigmillar Housing : Architecture

Scottish Housing Estate : Regeneration of Niddrie Mains tenement buildings

2 Oct 2008

Craigmillar Regeneration

News Update – 2nd October 2008

Historic Scotland is unhappy with decision to demolish 1930s tenement buildings at Niddrie Mains, and called for the few “landmarks” still standing to be saved.

This being Edinburgh a campaign has been launched against elements of the scheme, focusing on saving the former St Francis RC Primary School. The building is due to be demolished, having already been replaced by a new £13m campus

Historic Scotland advised the loss of the original housing stock in its entirety, together with the proposed loss of remaining unlisted buildings of merit, for example St Francis school, as ‘most regrettable’.

The only listed building in the area is the former White House pub, an Art Deco roadhouse building. Historic Scotland has called for its restoration following vandalism. PARC plans to do this within three years.

craigmillar housing
photo © Frazer Hay Apr 2008

The last tenement from the first housing development in the area has recently been demolished, however the 1934 Richmond Church of Scotland at the site is still standing.

Craigmillar 1st, a local community group, has launched an online petition against the loss of St Francis School. The land will be used for several purposes, including a library, town square and supermarket car park.

58 new homes get planning consent at The Square, Oct 2008
First block off Niddrie Mains Road complete

Craigmillar Regen Stalls
Craigmillar Regen
photograph © Adrian Welch

The £200m Craigmillar regeneration by PARC is under review due to the credit crunch. Some elements have been delayed by over a year.

Delayed projects include Greendykes South masterplan, the Niddrie Burn restoration project, and the community high school. Architects involved include Glasgow’s Elder & Cannon Architects and London’s John McAslan Architects, who set up a small office this year in Edinburgh.

St Francis and Niddrie Mill primary school is the first major element to be completed.

Photos of the demise of the old community
old Craigmillar
photo © Frazer Hay Apr 2008

Back in 2005:
Craigmillar Building
White House Pub: photo © Adrian Welch

Nov 2007:
White House Pub
White House Pub : photo © Adrian Welch

Views from around the semi-habitable Craigmillar estate:

Note the plaque from the royal opening, 1930, untouched by graffiti
Craigmillar, Edinburgh Craigmillar Estate Craigmillar Housing
images © Adrian Welch

Also note the White House pub, outlined in Charles McKean’s Edinburgh Architecture guidebook, like the Maybury it was a roadhouse.

Craigmillar Estate Buildings

Craigmillar Regeneration Craigmillar Craigmillar Estate
photos © Adrian Welch

White House, Craigmillar, Niddrie Mains Road, Craigmillar, Edinburgh
Date built: 1936
Design: William Innes Thomson, architect

Further to news Spring 2003 re this B-listed ‘art deco’ roadhouse pub in the centre of Craigmillar (south side of Niddrie Mains Road, now closed and in poor condition), City of Edinburgh Council officials are requesting legal action (Summer 2004) to force the building’s owners – Edinburgh-based Britestart Limited – to carry out urgent repairs. They are recommending the local authority serves a repair notice on Britestart. The White House Pub is included in Charles McKean’s ‘Edinburgh Architecture’ book and is on the Scottish Civic Trust buildings-at-risk register. The Scottish Civic Trust support the proposed serving of a repair notice.

craigmillar housing estate white house pub Craigmillar
photos © Adrian Welch

Last year Craigmillar community campaigners suggested it be included in a tourist trail of the area. Some people thought this a little over zealous but refurbishment would nevertheles be welcome, by which ever route necessary. This ‘Thirties’ building – like the much larger and grander Maybury Roadhouse on the other side of the city – is historically interesting and, some would argue, architecturally interesting though its small squat shape don’t make it an exemplar, nor was it a key innovator in architectural terms.

Craigmillar Future Society are apparently keen for the White House Pub to be purchased for use as a civic public space. In a report to CEC Planning Committee, the head of City of Edinburgh Council Development, Andrew Holmes, recommended councillors order repairs on the Pub designed by William Innes Thomson. Community leader Paul Nolan – who wrote to The Scotsman on this issue last Spring – wants the White House refurbished as a community centre.

Community leader Paul Nolan is clutching at straws by suggesting the White House pub in Craigmillar could become a tourist sight (News, August 7). The best thing for it is demolition.

Thistle Foundation Craigmillar : World War II Veterans Community
Thistle Foundation Craigmillar
Thistle Foundation: photo by Adrian Welch

Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle Craigmillar Castle Craigmillar Castle
Craigmillar Castle : photos by Adrian Welch

New Royal Infirmary, Petit France – view from east
Craigmillar area: photo by Adrian Welch

Craigmillar Regeneration Petit France Craigmillar Edinburgh Craigmillar Redevelopment
New Royal Infirmary: photos by Adrian Welch

Craigmillar Schools
Project Name: Niddrie Mill & St Francis Primary Schools
Client / Employer: PARC Craigmillar Developments Ltd.

Parc Craigmillar
image from elder & cannon architects 22may 2006

Craigmillar: Ideal Homes
Edinburgh College of Art 3RD Year Architecture Students exhibition re Craigmillar housing possibilities – “ideal homes” – was at the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland, Edinburgh, 4-27 May 2004.

RFACFS, Bakehouse Close, Edinburgh
At the invitation of EDI, 36 students of architecture from ECA made propositions for 72 ideal homes at Wauchope Square in Craigmillar.
Homes for a colourful mix of fictional characters.
The resulting dense urban carpet of houses is predicated on the suspension of guidelines, operational practices and regulations which prevent people living this close together.

These restrictive rules were identified and discussed. The conversation then focused on ways forward through current research in fire engineering and less conventional approaches to privacy. When the density of houses on the ground can approach that of flatted developments the financial playing field starts to level out.

There is a groundswell of opinion in the community for a radical shift in thinking on rules which prohibit the realisation of reasonable human aspirations.

This exhibition is set to provoke conversations about how people might want to live. There is no place for cynicism here. What are your views?

Edinburgh Architecture

Register House

Old College

Point Hotel Edinburgh

Edinburgh Walking Tours

Missoni Hotel Edinburgh

New Town Harvey Nichols

Craigmillar Regeneration
The City of Edinburgh Council are currently working on a European project entitled LUDA (Large Urban Distressed Areas) which is looking at approaches to Urban Regeneration in different European States. The Council case study centres on Craigmillar. Details of LUDA are available at

EDI are working on massive housing plans in the area and are using Page + Park Architects and others, including landscaping plans to the south-east of the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

Greendykes North Design Guide : Scottish Design Awards 2007 – Proposed Place Making Shortlist: Cadell² LLP

Buildings / photos for the Craigmillar Building + Niddrie Mains Regeneration page welcome