We stand at the entrance to the once grand Redhall House and Estate. The house itself stands up the hill close to the ruins of Redhall Castle, which lay in ruins following a siege by Cromwell’s troops in 1650. The property was built by local entrepreneur Sir George Inglis, who hired Robert Bowie to landscape the riverside with paths, ornamental trees, a walled garden, and a fine hexagonal doocot – or dovecot if you prefer! The bridge is called Bogs Mill Bridge, harking back to the old mill which, although now supplanted by a modern house, once made the paper exclusively for Bank of Scotland 20 shilling notes.
As you head downstream from here your will pass Redhall Walled Garden on the north side of the river, occupying the site of Jinkabout (paper) Mill from 1750. The garden, which was once the kitchen garden for Redhall House, was built with hollow walls warmed by hot air from a boiler. The garden is now run by the Scottish Association for Mental Health as a training centre. It welcomes visitors, has regular Open Days and is well worth a visit. You will also pass a grotto, Moorish in style, built in the grounds of the long gone Craiglockhart House. Have a look at the unusual shell covered ceiling.
The geology of this area is noteworthy, with exposed outcrops and deep dells carved from the rock. There are also many fine trees including 500 year old oaks, 1000 year old yew trees and a smattering of more exotic species planted only 250 years ago during the landscaping phase. You have to imagine this whole area as being the gardens of only one family. The next audio point is at the Water of Leith Visitor Centre across Lanark Road, 1/4 mile away. There you may have a rest, a refreshment and a chance to learn more about the river’s heritage and wildlife.
Video created by Bryce Morrison, Edinburgh U3A Movie Makers Group