Cairngorm House


Grampian House

Lindsay Road, Leith

Cairngorm House and Grampian House  -  Under Construction  -  1962

 Cairngorm House and Grampian House under construction, 1962

  Drew Shortel, Newhaven, Edinburgh


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    Cairngorm House and Grampian House under construction, 1962


Cairngorm House and Grampian House


Thank you to Drew, Shortel for allowing me to reproduce the photograph above of Cairngorm House and Grampian House, together known as Leith Fort Towers.  This photo was taken in 1962 when the towers were under construction.

Cairngorm House and Grampian House were situated  in Lindsay Road, across the road from Caledonian Railway's Leith North Station, about half a mile to the east of Newhaven Harbour.

This view is taken from the south, looking towards the towers, with Leith Harbour beyond.  Cairngorm House is on the right.


The towers, were each 59 meters high with 22 floors, were completed in 1962-63 and used until the residents were re-housed in the early 1990s. The towers were demolished in 1997 and have now been replaced by apartments, 7 storeys high.

Drew tells me that he used the same camera to photograph the towers being built and being demolished!


Here is a later view of Cairngorm House and Grampian House.

This photo was taken from the top floor of Fort House.  I don' know the year of the photo:

Cairngorm House and Grampian House from Fort House




Andrew Shortel

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Andrew Shortel, who used to live in Cairngorm House, tells me he heard that Cairngorm House and Grampian House were meant to be facing onto the main road, i.e. that the front rooms were supposed to be facing north towards the Firth of Forth, but construction was already underway before somebody twigged!

Andrew does not know whether this was just a local story or whether it is true!

Andrew Shortel, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  May 27, 2007




Isabella Scott

North-West England

Thank you to Isabella Scott who wrote:

Leith in 1980s

"I remember Leith from when I was growing up in the 1980s.  It was grim!

I was lucky enough, though, to be around there only at weekends when I came there to visit my Mum.  I was being raised in Dalkeith, 8 miles from Edinburgh."

Ghost Story

"I wrote a story about the area that featured these very flats, Cairngorm House and Grampian House. 

Cairngorm House and Grampian House from Fort House

It was a bit of a ghost story.  It doesn't lead the reader to feel they're being pressurised into believing in ghosts (as I don't particularly) but I left it open for them to take a journey with the story and see how they feel at the end (which is more powerful)."

Exploring The Flats

"My story called 'The Escape'.  It was about growing up with my cousin and her friend and how we'd frequent the flats (something I strangely enjoyed to do).

We'd climb the many stairs and see what awaited us when we reached the top. Grampian and Cairngorm were particularly interesting due to the cages on the top and we knew how to get outside and look out from 59 metres up. It was quite a sight! and we'd stand for ages looking down at the world going by.

The flats, at that point, were being emptied of their tenants so they were creepy and had an eerie solitude.  My friend grew up in one of those flats (Cairngorm) and she told us about her dad who went missing and died.  It was a bit of an odd story but that is what inspired me to write 'The Escape'."

Isabella Scott, North-West England:  October 16+27, 2012


Lindsay Road


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