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Edinburgh, Lauriston Lane, Merchant Maidens Hospital

Hospital (Period Unassigned), School (Period Unassigned), War Memorial (20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Lauriston Lane, Merchant Maidens Hospital

Classification Hospital (Period Unassigned), School (Period Unassigned), War Memorial (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) George Watson's Boys College

Canmore ID 123065

Site Number NT27SE 1869

NGR NT 2541 7292

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 1869 2541 7292

See also:

NT27SE 1871 Edinburgh, Bristo Street, Merchant Maidens Hospital

NT27SE 477 Edinburgh, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73 Queen Street

NT27SE 1906 Edinburgh, Lauriston Place, George Watson's Hospital

NT27SE 480 Edinburgh, Lauriston Place, Royal Infirmary.

Architecture Notes

Now demolished.

The Merchant Maidens' Hospital was founded in 1694 and initially housed in the Company of Merchants' own halls in the Cowgate. The Hospital moved to Bristo Street in about 1706, to a site purchased by Mary Erskine. However, by the start of the 19th Century the governers were resolved on the contruction of a new hospital. Robert Reid, Richard Crichton and a Mr Harvey supplied plans for a hospital in Lothian Street, 1805 - 1812. This was never built; instead, in 1816, the new building in Lauriston was commissioned. The Merchant Maidens resided here from 1818 until 1870, when they removed (as the 'Edinburgh Educational Institution for Young Ladies') to Queen Street. (See Tovill, in Bibliography, for Merchant Maidens Hospital history).

From 1870 to 1933, the premises were occupied by George Watson's Boys College.

However, the site was purchased by the Royal Infirmary for its expansion plans, and the College moved to Colinton Road. Burn's building was demolished, and the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion and Florence Nightingale Nurses' Home built in its place.

ARCHITECT: William Burn 1816

MacGibbon and Ross, alterations and additions


Newscutting, March 4th 1933, source unknown - photograph.

Missing at time of upgrade (10.12.1997).

(Undated) information in NMRS.


Archaeological Evaluation (2006 - 2007)

NT 2540 7290 A programme of building recording, including a laser scan survey, was undertaken at the former 'Red Home' in the former Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, before its demolition in advance of the Quartermile development. A third evaluation was also carried out in advance of the Quartermile development in the area surrounding and beneath the Simpson's Memorial Maternity Hospital. No significant archaeological features or

artefacts were discovered during these evaluation works. Work on these two areas was undertaken during 2006 and 2007.

Archive to be deposited with RCAHMS.

Funder: Southside Capital Ltd.

Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.

Note (30 June 2014)

The war memorial was constructed infront of the main entrance to the school. When the school moved to Colinton Road the war memorial was removed and built beside the new school buildings (see NT27SW 1698).

Information from RCAHMS (AKK) 30 June 2014.


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