of Domestic Science
dad, Harry Stewart,
had the pleasure of being caretaker of Clermiston House for the
College of Domestic Science (as it was then) after they acquired the
site in the early 1960s.
Though I thank them for the chance to live in such a great
environment, I also curse them for
demolishing a sound building (the house itself) and removing
anything that gave reminders of the past."
"The family who last lived in the house
before the college acquired it (sorry cant remember their name) were
a little bit eccentric (nicely) and had an en suite room especially
for their Pekingese dogs. It smelled
of dog pee long after they had gone.
There was even a small dog cemetery,
complete with headstones (removed by college) to the front of the
house near the impressive statue (removed by college) of
King James V on
a horse. It's
a pity that I was not really interested who he was in these
was also a revolving summer house on the front lawn (removed by
cycling down Clermiston Road. I was
near the top with a parcel to post dangling from the handlebars.
It swung into my spokes and ruined quite a few.
stopped my bike and a man came out of a house to see if I was OK.
He asked where I lived and then identified himself as a son
of the previous owner of Clermiston House.
He taped up my parcel and gave me some
money to repair my bike. It was a
kind deed which I remember to this day.
Inside the House
"The house was superb.
It had a huge dining room stretching the length of the house,
with magnificent chandeliers in many of the rooms.
We lived in the basement and one of my joys was to sneak upstairs to
have my bath in the floor to ceiling marbled bathroom,
or pull myself upstairs in the dumb
It was the Inverarity family who
lived in the house.
It was a magnificent
place which was watertight and sound. How
could it ever have been allowed to be demolished?"
grounds were pure joy.
The photo above is taken looking across the huge lawns to the side
of the house.
sunken gardens with a pond full of tadpoles and newts in the middle
(since full of concrete)
walled garden with large greenhouse
outdoor swimming pool (another great source of newts and tadpoles)
alive with daffodils in spring and, best
of all, the multi coloured rhododendrons.
"The Winfield family, who worked for the
previous owners, were given a small cottage in,
what was then, the corner of a field at
the top of the road up from Corstorphine.
They were to have this cottage until the death of the mother.
The wall to the cottage used to have a post box built
"Clermiston council housing was being
built at the time and, though I went to
Corstorphine Primary School, I played with
the kids from the scheme which was slowly filling up.
My dad used to let them play football in the field which was
to the front of the house.
pigeons was also big in these days and the woods between the scheme
and the house were a prime place for kids,
pigeon lofts to be built.
remember tumblers were much sought after,
and remember going into town to a pet shop
in Cockburn Street, just down the steps,to
Does anyone remember the kids' recognition
call? It was a bit like 'eeoo eep.'
Riding a Bull
"I remember, in
the bottom field, trying to ride a
and being sent through the air. I
"The kids were a good lot,
in general. They never did any
damage to the estate which, was right on
their doorsteps. My
dad used to do his rounds in the evening with our fat family dog and
gave plenty warning of his approach with occasional loud shouts
of 'Get the hell out of there',
even if he couldn't see anyone."
"Clermiston House was a great place
which had a sad and unnecessary end"