15.  Rocheid Path

You are now opposite the Stockbridge Colonies, across the river. The housing was built between 1861 and 1911 by the Edinburgh Building Cooperative, and its development aimed to provide low cost housing for skilled workers and artisans, moving people to a healthier environment, away from the slums and disease of the Old Town. The colonies style is particular to Edinburgh, and each flat originally had four rooms with an external toilet and a small garden. They were built as double flats, upper and lower, with the upper flat’s front door on the opposite side to the lower flat’s front door, allowing each dwelling to have a front garden.

In April 2000 this area flooded badly and the far bank has undergone extensive flood defense work.

The path you are walking along is called Rocheid Path in memory of the Rocheid family who built Inverleith House. The house and extensive grounds is now the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens. Open daily, one can visit the Gardens by taking Inverleith Row north, once you have left the Walkway on Cannonmills Bridge, some 500m downstream. Do not cross this new lifting bridge but continue downstream and cross the river using the next footbridge. The path and steps will bring you out onto the road at Brandon Terrace where there is a good selection of cafes and public conveniences.

At Cannonmills follow the walkway signs carefully as you will need to cross the busy road and continue along the path which follows Warriston Road. Another interesting diversion from the walkway is nearby Warriston Road. Another interesting diversion from the walkway could be nearby Warriston Cemetery, further along the road past the entrance to St Marks Park. Laid out in 1842 by David Cousins as a fashionable burial ground for the wealthy, sadly present day neglect and vandalism have only served to reinforce the gloomy gothic atmosphere.

Video by Jim Cross, Edinburgh U3A Movie Makers Group

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