Step Back in Time: Edinburgh’s Dean Village

Our quiet Sunday a few weeks ago could not have been better spent than walking around Dean Village in Edinburgh.

Located along the Water of Leith, not far from Princes Street and Edinburgh’s New Town area. Dean Village is an old grain milling and weaving area dating to the 12th century. Remnants of that heritage can still be found today.

We started out with the view from Dean Bridge, built by the famous and prolific Edinburgh civil engineer and architect Thomas Telford in the 1830s. I love the view from the bridge!

Walk downhill from Dean Bridge
Corner of Dean Bridge
View from Dean Bridge

Dean VIllage is a residential area and there are no restaurants or shops once you walk down Bell’s Brae. Enjoying the views is what it is all about in Dean Village and also discovering and reading about the area’s milling and weaving past. Believe it or not, by the 1960s the area had become run down until restoration began in the 1970s.

Dean Village
Dean Village

Here is an old mill stone, part of the area’s milling history.

Millstone, Dean Village

I just love the plants growing out of this old stone wall.

Dean Village

Names of streets and places also pay homage to the milling industry once found here, “Miller Row”.

Dean Village

Remember, the area is on the Water of Leith which helped power the millstones so there are several bridges that provide beautiful views.

Dean Village
Dean Village
Dean Village

My personal favorite are the charming buildings, stone houses and cottages.

Dean Village
Dean Village
Dean Village
Dean Village
Dean Village
Dean Village
Dean Village
Dean Village

Another bridge…..

Dean Village

If you did not see some kind of received on top of one of the buildings or the modern pipework going down the building, you would think this was what it looked like the 1700-1800s.

Dean Village
Dean Village
Dean Village

The schoolyard across from the school in Dean Village, built in 1875 and closed in 1961, gives a lot of great history for the area. It says that in addition to milling and weaving other industries in Dean Village were tanneries and chemical processing, both stinky, dirty processes. The water must have been awfully polluted and very foul. Hard to imagine that in the bucolic setting it is today.

Dean Village
Dean Village

As we began walking out of Dean Village we came across this doorway lead to the Gallery of Modern Art Two.

Dean Village

Since there are no restaurants in Dean Village, I recommend walking the 10-15 minutes to the neighborhood of Stockbridge which has great brunch options, boutiques, and awesome charity shops!! a perfect Sunday.

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