High School Yards

Old Town, Edinburgh




Linda Montgomery

Old Town, Edinburgh

Linda Montgomery used to live in the Toll House, Niddrie Mill and now lives in High School Yards, Old Town, Edinburgh.

Linda wrote:

High School Yards

"I now live in High School Yards.  I have a wonderful house at the top of my stair with a great view across to Arthur's Seat.  I think this building was the second put up by the Council, as it was called in these far off days."

High School Yards

   High School Yards  -  Just inside the old Edinburgh City Walls, to the south to the Cowgate and west of Pleasance ©

"The first tenants moved into the houses in, I think, 1920 or so.  They were begun in the late 1890s, and were made up of single ends.

 I met a lady who used to live in one of the houses in the next stair.  She, along with six brothers and sisters and her Mum and Dad, lived in one in the 50s.

My neighbour, Frank, knows a lot of the folk from the area who are still around.  If there's anything he can do, or find out, he'll be happy to oblige."

History of High School Yards

"As well as finding anyone from where I grew up at Niddrie Mill, it would be good to hear from anyone who either lived in High School Yards or knew someone who lived there at some point in the past.

I'd love to write a history of the place. I've been told that Burke and Hare used to bring their bodies through one of the vennels from the Cowgate just below where I live now.

I can see from my balcony the building that was used to dissect the bodies for the students, and at the end of the street, next to the Salvation Army Hostel, there is now a nursery.

The janitor showed me a passage that leads down to connect to other underground passages leading to the same building, unhappily having fallen into disrepair."

Linda (now Lyndsay) Montgomery, Old Town, Edinburgh:  July 15 + 16, 2008

Contacting Linda

If you'd like to contact Linda, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to her.

Thank you.    -  Peter Stubbs:  July 17 2008




Eric Gold

East London

Thank you to Eric Gold who wrote this reply to Linda's comments above.

Eric wrote:

Waverley Buildings

"Hi Linda, I liked your story above.  I had an Auntie Nancy who lived in the Waverly Buildings opposite you, now gone as per Arthur street where I was brought up.

Burke & Hare

"I went to St Anne’s school in the Cowgate now a day centre.

I used to go up the wynd (High School Wynd) and passed the University on the left were Dr Knox used to buy the bodies from Burke and Hare, years ago.

There was an Janitor there with a wee bulldog.  It was a vicious beast too and all us kids would annoy it, and the janitor would say to us all, I will let him out and he will chase you all.  I think the janitors who worked for  Edinburgh  University were called servitors or something to that effect

I remember the guy to this very day as he had a black uniform and his hair was silvery grey, not forgetting the bulldog (ha ha ha)."

Medical Centre

"At the end of High School Yards  there was a medical centre where my sister and other mothers collected the powdered milk for her wee bairns.

There was a room there that was used if you contacted scabies.  There was a lot of that in the Old Town when I was wee.  You you would get scrubbed down with a blue liquid, thankfully I never caught scabies.

We also had to get our jabs there."

Edinburgh Clubs

"I remember some of the Edinburgh Clubs well, but  I was at sea, working on the Queen Mary, so I missed the Embers.

There was a club on the left hand side of Victoria Street  and it had a lot of wee bars.  I watched a few folk music people there and I believe the Corries played there too.  I forget its name and there was the Place in Victoria Street too.

Anyway Linda, do put more memories on the website as I like history too and especially Edinburgh’s Southside and Leith as it holds a lot of wonderful memories.

Without the EdinPhoto website I would be lost, and all would be a distant memory to me."

Eric Gold, East London: July 20, 2008


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