Monday, 21 November 2011


If you backtrack to 24th October 2011 when I posted 3 pictures from around the Cowgate, you'll be able to see many of the buildings that were in these settings in 1970, just before demolition commenced.
The top photo here, taken in the early/mid 70's after demolition, has the area around King Street visible and as you can see, it was turned into a temporary car park before the new construction started.
The picture taken in the Cowgate, if you compare to the October set, you will notice that a huge chunk of the original buildings have disappeared from this location too, and again, a part of it turned into a makeshift car park - you can just make out Wishart Arch poking through in the distance. This image above was captured in September 1984.
Top photo from Gordon C.
Bottom photo by Neale Elder.


  1. Well done Retro you've managed to make my pic look positively Mediterranean!

  2. theres the city farm in the bottom photo fenced in under the church.
    is the octagonal building in the top photo still there? it had a story attatched to it if I remember correctly told on a sign outside it in the small carpark

  3. a thunderbird 3 SAAB always wanted one of those, and if Im not mistaken Mrs Hendrickx about to cross the road in a burgundy coat, both top sunny photo.

  4. lower pic, is it one of the Cox mills on the right? apparently the tower is modelled on the campanile of the salute in venice.

  5. Seeing the bottom photo has led me to try to visualise what the Cowgate/Seagate junction area looked like just before the Marketgait tunnel was built (i.e. where the East Port circle is now), but I'm struggling a bit - was it just wasteground towards the end (i.e. 1989ish), or were there buildings where the southern entrance to the tunnel is now?

  6. I remember just passing my driving test and using that street as free parking whae venturing into town:) on a slightly different note, its quite spooky how many times the Maxwelltown multis appear here on Retro, even though the post is about a completely different subject. A sight we might have just got used to seeing .

  7. To answer the Bear, the octagonal Glasite Chapel (still there) dates from 1777 and has been described thus:-

    It stands as a monument to an eighteenth-century Minister, Rev John Glas, who opted out to form his own sect, now famous for two memories: first, that they married very young; and second, that those attending service were given kail soup, hence the nickname for the building, the Kail Kirk.

  8. Hi 'john ruskin' - Lower Dens was one of Baxter's mills.

    To answer Graeme - picture the scene. Looking up Allan Street, on the left was a car park and on the right were warehouses. At the Seagate end was a four-storey tenement with the 'Quarter Gill' on the corner. Opposite was a car park running up to the Cowgate. Diagonally opposite that was another car park on the site of the old commercial college (one time Cowgate school). Backing on to this was a high retaining wall and at the top (on King Street) the old school railings were still there. From King Street to Victoria Road (leading to where the tunnel is now) was just a crescent of landscaped open ground.

    To jog your memory further: going back to the Seagate, on the south side next to the 'Quarter Gill' was the Thistle Casino, with its doorway shaped like a thistle. Opposite this was a motor dealership which had been tarted up with a blue painted frontage and awnings...and next to that was the tenement housing the famed Tayside Bar.

  9. Building on the corner, by which the Saab V4 is about to pass -- was there ever an Indian restaurant in the ground floor? Vague memories from around '78 of my first ever curry. Might be wrong. It was late.
    However, I do remember guitar guru Vince Chalmers having a "studio" on the first floor just up the hill a few doors; went there early 70s for weekly tuition of Shadows tunes...

  10. Cheers, Neale, that's quite a picture you paint there!

    I do remember the car parks and warehouses, but little else, despite the fact I must have passed the area hundreds of times as a kid.

    I can vaguely remember a row of warehouses running parallel to East Marketgait where the big car park is now. At the very bottom of this row (on the junction with East Dock Street) was a mechanics' garage - I remember my dad taking our old Mini there once or twice!