Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

All our staffed properties, sites and offices, including the HES Archives and Library, are currently closed, but we’re working on plans to gradually reopen. In the meantime, you can access our services online. Find out more.

Edinburgh, 90 Canongate, Milton House

Commercial Office (19th Century), House (18th Century), School (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, 90 Canongate, Milton House

Classification Commercial Office (19th Century), House (18th Century), School (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Fletcher's Lodging

Canmore ID 52197

Site Number NT27SE 177

NGR NT 26587 73804

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

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 177.00 2658 7381

NT27SE 177.01 Milton House School built on the site of Milton House.

NT27SE 177.02 Janitor's House.

Architecture Notes


Nat. Lib. Salton Papers. SB44 1745 - manuscripts

SB78 1752 - manuscripts

SB93 1760 - manuscripts

SB 100 1764 - manuscripts

[From Boog Watson MSS, Edinburgh Public Library - a series of MS notebooks on buildings of Edinburgh]

2, p. 92, etc.

Milton House, or Fletcher's Lodging, 90 Canongate, south side, built on site of house of Early of Roxburgh (d. 1741), as shown by Edgar's map of 1742 (Roxburgh House) and 1765 ('Lord Milton's' is inserted).

Ld. M. originally offered for the lease of the ruinous lodging, formerly Earl of Winton's, on north side of street, about 1740. A committee visited and reported on it, advising a public roup for 3 terms of 19 years. Ld. M's petition offers to build a house on waste ground south side of street, formerly Ld. Roxburgh's. He obtains leave to take a pipe from the great water pipe in Canongate at his own expense (1755).

Ld. M. helped provide Lothian meal for the market (c. 1763).

Drawing-room of house very fine with paintings on walls and ceiling.

From Architectural Catalogue slip:

On central staircase. Easch wall has centrally placed panel (ie 4) with a bracket for a bust on each side (19th C). Each panel about 5' x 4' is octagonal and has trompe l'oeil gilt guilloche frame, now held inside massive 19th C plaster (?) bolection frames. Three landscapes, N, S & W apparently on plaster from cracks etc but so high up difficult to view and almost impossible to photograph. Thickness of modern frames also suggests originals on plaster.

Idealised landscapes, one with lighthouse tower, full of detail figures etc. & in good condition.

Final panel on E has oval with view of Milton House in arabesque Watteausque border on cream & white grounds. Is it 19th Century? Milton House shown in grey (soot grimed) & very wooden in feeling compared to others. Is it either by Dr Hay for convent c.1835 or same date as Milton House School to make set. Possibly however copies arabaesques by De La Cour around 3 panels in original room.

(Architecture catalogue slip contains hand drawings of panels)

IG 6/12/82

Catalogue slip shows pencil sketch of panels.

1833 shown as occupied by john Page, shawl mfr.

1835, May, opened as convent, when bought by St. Margaret's Convent. Appears in lists 1835/6 and 1837/8 under Mme St. Paul, Superior of Sisters of Charity. Later this is closed, and its school transferred to Pentland House.

Before 1858 (appears thus in Directory, 1858/9) acquired by James Milne & Son, brass founders.

(1885?) 1887 Sold half to William Younger & Co., brewers half to Edinburgh School board, who demolished house and built Milton House School.

1910 The last pear-tree left in orchard behind Canongate cut down, when Ford's glass works and the houses next Milton House School destroyed to make room for houses in Holyrood Road.

1756 Andrew Fletches to his father, Ld Milton:

24th April, ack. his order of 17th for Crown glass (which Andrew is to get from London).

20th May, the glass is ready,

10th July, "Your glass for the Cannongate house is packd up in four boxes", awaiting convoy".

22nd July - Glass shipped 17th via the John for Leith

NLS (Saltoun 86a)

1758 Wm De La Cour to Ld Milton, 5th Oct.:

On his painting dining-room at Canongate: on finishing he found it necessary to enrich cornices, friezes and architraves "to give a true harmony to the whole", which Ld M. and Mr Ramsay had approved in principle, but he sends estimate to be on safe side, 35 gns for painting "a large arabesques agreable to a sketch", 35 yds "finest green plain painting in nut oyle", 158 yds "best flake white and pink nut", enriching of 1660 ft moulding in gold in the cornices, friezes, architraves, frets and panels of doors, windows, bases and surbases, "small and large one with another".

Grand total (pounds)85.9.5.

De La Cour sends this to John Adam NLS (Saltoun 89).

Adam to Ld Milton, 5th Oct.

begging his "sentiments" on the above: "Mr De La Cour is proceeding with Your Lops room, according to the Design formerly approved of by Your Lop", but as he fears he is exceeding his brief he asked him for an estimate "to finish it in the genteelest taste, & so as to keep every part in harmony", for Ld M's approval. "The Arabesque Painting & Landskips he desired me formerly to acquaint Your Lop, would be about 35 or (pounds)36 nesides the plain Painting of the room", the lowest he could quote as he needs this publicity "to introduce himself to bussiness". "He has done One door with party gilding...& Mr Ramsay who saw it before his departure for Londo. was highly pleas'd with it, as he was with the whole Design, after he saw it Sketch'd in upon the Walls", but JA warns him to gild no more till approved.

(Ld M. peremptorily stops the work!)

NLS (Saltoun 89)

1759 Robert Brisbane to Ld Milton, 23rd March

On laying out garden at Canongate, and if they could buy adjoining ground and pull down "two three ould Houses belonning to it", then "Mr Gardiners House, and all down to the South Dykem would In Close the Gardin to the East".

[This suggests that interior work is finished by now?]

NLS (Saltoun 419 (1))

Milton House: 'Scottish Art & National Encouragement' inf from fleming


'The first Master of this Academy was De La Cour a native of France, and an artist of some respectability but of whose works we have not seen any specimins, he painted some pictures in imitation of Watteau and he seems to have been accasionally employed in decorative apartments in the grotesque style of, of which the drawing room of Milton House in the Canongate Edinburgh affords a favourable specimin.

Milton House has also served as a Catholic School, run by Sisters of Charity, a school for the deaf and dumb , a temporary maternity hospital, and then the property of an engineering company.


Wm Younger & Co Brewers


Dick Peddie & macKay, Edinburgh alts & adds

Attic 2, Bin 4, Bag 2 Dick Peddie, McKay & Jamieson 1947


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions