The History of Leith

September 23, 2007

Why don’t you come in…?

This year’s Doors Open Day, organised by the Cockburn Association (the Edinburgh Civic Trust) in partnership with Edinburgh World Heritage, takes place on Saturday 29 September.

More than 70,000 people attended last year’s event and it has become one of the most popular free days out in the Edinburgh cultural calendar.

With more than 70 buildings taking part this year and even more behind the scenes tours, exhibitions and children’s activities than ever before, Doors Open Day is set to be a great success.

The brochure can be obtained from various venues, including all public libraries. Or get it online from

The following is a taste of what to expect:

A focus on the buildings on and around Calton Hill, including: Calton Hill City Observatory, Nelson’s Monument, Burn’s Monument and Calton Old and New Graveyards. Nelson’s Monument, which normally incurs an entrance charge, will be free to visitors on Doors Open Day. There will also be guided walks throughout the day between Calton Old and New Graveyards.

The opportunity to explore and discover more about the history and current use of Donaldson’s College. Built in 1851 by Sir William Playfair, this landmark building is synonymous with being home to Scotland’s national school for the deaf. With Donaldson’s due to relocate to Linlithgow in January, this is a final opportunity to see the building in its current use.
Parliament Hall, which features the Great Window, installed in 1868 and consisting of 8,000 pieces of painted and stained glass, will be providing tours of the court rooms where they will have the opportunity to watch a partial re-enactment of the trial of Burke and Hare.

The Caves at Niddry Street South provides visitors with an exciting opportunity to see the ongoing restoration work to part of underground Edinburgh beneath South Bridge.
Built in 1763 for the Earl of Abercorn, Duddingston House is the most completely preserved and often regarded as the finest of the houses designed by Sir William Chambers. Guided tours will be available to visitors on the day.

For further information contact: Stephen Murray, Doors Open Day Coordinator at the Cockburn Association. Call: 0131 557 8686. E-mail:

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