Edinburgh World Heritage - House Histories Case Study


House Histories Case Study

A key part of the way EWH interprets the World Heritage Site, a themed campaign is launched every year.

In 2009 the House Histories project invited everyone to discover some of the fascinating layers of history that lie hidden behind the stone facades of Edinburgh’s historic buildings.

Using the unique historical records of the Edinburgh Room and the City Archives, a wealth of human stories connected with the built heritage were revealed, showing the changing fortunes of the Old and New Towns, and the people who lived in them.

The key outputs were:

House Histories Trail

A5 booklet with a suggested trail of six historic buildings in the Old and New Towns.

Six podcasts were also recorded, with a variety of heritage experts giving a behind the scenes tour for each building on the trail.


Six newsletters focused on relics of lost buildings, the Old Town, the New Town, public houses, peculiar and quirky dwellings and finally case studies of Edinburgh residents who had researched their own house history.


History of my House - in collaboration with Edinburgh Central Library, a series of talks, displays and surgeries guided residents in researching the history of their own house.

Doors Open Day - Meet the Grants at No.5 - Mr and Mrs Grant, the original owners of No.5 Charlotte Square, revealed what life was like 200 years ago in the Georgian New Town.

Old Town Festival - events were hosted at the Museum of Edinburgh. Visitors were invited to travel back to Georgian times and meet Mrs Doig, an upwardly mobile merchant's wife, and Donald Black, purveyor of the city's most comfortable sedan chair, regaling visitors with tales and gossip about the people of Georgian Edinburgh.

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