|Date||4 January 2012|
|Location||Little France, Edinburgh||NT 29777 69488; 55.91331°N, 3.12501°W|
The former estate of Edmonstone lies between the new Royal Infirmary at Little France to the northwest and the village of Danderhall to the east and is just within Edinburgh’s boundary with the county of Midlothian. In the 13th century the estate belonged to the Edmonstone family, a cadet branch of the House of Seton. From the 1620s it was owned by the Raith family and it subsequently passed by marriage into the hands of the Wauchopes.
There was originally a castle, upon whose site a mansion was built. The latter appears in maps as early as 1682. Parts of the house were rebuilt following damage by fires on two separate occasions: once around 1800 and again in 1830. The mansion was demolished in the 1950s, with only ruins of the adjoining stable block now remaining. Other surviving structures include an ice house next to the stable block, a walled garden, ha-has and boundary walls, and gateways and lodges to the south and east. The lodge at the east entrance, on The Wisp, is a private residence and that at the south entrance, on the A7 Old Dalkeith Road, a vandalised ruin.
Edmonstone Estate forms part of Edinburgh’s Green Belt. It has nonetheless been the subject of various planning applications over the years. EDI — a development company owned by Edinburgh City Council — purchased 150 acres of land from the Don-Wauchope family in a £20m deal in April 2004. At the time, grand plans were unveiled for a giant woodland park with paths and cycle routes. Initial public access to the new recreational open space was to have been provided by the end of 2005.
By the end of 2004 developers Boskabelle had lodged a planning application to build a £30m 80-bed private hospital at the site of the former mansion. Existing structures were to be renovated and incorporated into the design and existing woodland and parkland were to be managed and landscaped for public recreational use. In January 2009 further plans were submitted for a care home in the Walled Garden and a self-contained 170-home ‘care village’ next to the proposed hospital. And in May 2011 it was announced that Isle of Man-based developers Baywater IOM had different ideas for the estate and intended to seek planning consent for a supermarket, a hotel and 200 homes — in a ‘bid to kickstart’ regeneration of the Little France area.
Gardens and designed landscapes surveys – Edmonstone survey (Edinburgh City Council);