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Edinburgh, 231 Canongate, The Old Sailor's Ark

Hostel (20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, 231 Canongate, The Old Sailor's Ark

Classification Hostel (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) 4 New Street

Canmore ID 133564

Site Number NT27SE 2824

NGR NT 26278 73757

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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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

Summary Record (14 February 2012)

Built by Tarbolton & Ochterlony, 1934-6, opening in 1936 as a restaurant and recreation centre for the destitute population of Edinburgh, though the Canongate entrance was at one stage a retail address. The Canongate frontage makes a nod to its surroundings with C17th detailing, the New Street frontage is of plainer brickwork.


Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 2824 26275 73744


Photographic Survey (18 November 2008)

Photographed by the Threatened Buildings Survey prior to possible facade retention and demolition as part of the aborted Caltongate scheme.


Standing Building Recording (23 October 2014 - 24 October 2014)

NT 26281 73745 A programme of archaeological work was undertaken, 23–24 October 2014, prior to and during the development of the former Sailors Ark building (5 New Street) and the adjacent tenements at 221–229 Canongate. The work will see the demolition of the former 1930s built structures, with the exception of the façades to Canongate and New Street,

which will be retained.

There have been buildings on the site as far back as the post medieval

period, with the Caltongate gasworks dominating the site to the immediate N of the development area. However, the present buildings on the site were constructed in the 1930s. The façades to Canongate were built in a stone rubble style to fit in with the medieval character of the rest of the street,

although the side elevation of the Sailor Ark to New Street and rear elevations are brick, with the tenements dominated by a concrete balcony to the rear.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Artisan Estates

Diana Sproat – AOC Archaeology Group

(Source: DES)


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