Housing for the Locals

Well Court,  Water of Leith,  Edinburgh,  March 2016

One of my personal treats on every visit to Edinburgh is a walk along the Water of Leith, between Stockbridge and Roseburn.  The red sandstone of Well Court is one of many highlights along the way.

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Well Court was commissioned in the 1880s by Sir John Findlay, owner of The Scotsman newspaper. He bought land in Dean Village and had old tenements removed to make way for new housing.  It was constructed as four and five storey blocks of tenement flats around a communal courtyard and was advertised to the local Dean Villagers as “homes of two and three rooms with conveniences, let to a respectable class of working men at rentals of £7 to £12 per annum”.

In 2007, Edinburgh World Heritage and the owners of the building funded a major restoration of Well Court.  The work included repairs to the stonework, roof, windows and clock tower, using traditional materials.  A match for the distinctive red sandstone was found in a quarry in Dumfries, and handmade roof tiles were sourced in order to maintain a significant part of the character of the building.

Clock tower, probably inspired by the 17th century Earl’s Palace in Kirkwall

#ffa089 color image

Hex colour reference:  ffa089

A colourful note:  the fruitily-named vivid tangerine crayon appeared in the Crayola boxes in 1990.  It is clearly named after the orange coloured citrus fruit that is closely related to, or possibly a type of, mandarin orange.  In turn, the fruit’s name is derived from its original home, Tangier in Morocco.


aDSC_0636_ppCopyright Debbie Smyth, 9 January 2017


Part of Color Your World 

17 thoughts on “Housing for the Locals

  1. First of all, thanks for the info on the vivid tangerine color. I am fascinated by the history of colors. But, the best part of this post is the gorgeous photo!! I really want to go back to Edinburgh, and I will save your post for a possible future travel destination.


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