the Stockbridge Colonies
Stockbridge takes it name from the Scots words "stocc
brycg" meaning a timber foot bridge after the original
bridge that crossed the Water of Leith to the small village.
The current stone Stock Bridge was built in 1801 with the
help of the architect James Milne and it now allows traffic
to cross the river between the two adjoining estates of
Deanhaugh and St. Bernard's both of which were purchased
in the 1790's by the painter Henry Raeburn (1756 -1823).
Milne was also responsible for St. Bernard's Church in
Saxe Coburg Street built in 1823 and Anne Street which
was designed by Raeburn and named after his wife. Today
houses in Anne Street with their front gardens are among
Edinburgh's most expensive properties.
After the creation of Edinburgh's Georgian New town which
began in 1767, building steadily progressed northwards to
emcompass the small villages along the river including Stockbridge
and the Dean Village.
has a definite Bohemian vibe and many artists, musicians,
poets,writers and thespians have made the area their home.
Over the years famous residents have included, portrait artist
Sir Henry Raeburn, poet James Hogg, surgeon Sir James Young
Simpson and more recently actor Norman Lovett and the lead
singer of the band 'Garbage', Shirley Manson.
The original Mrs Doubtfire or "Madame Doubtfire"
lived and ran a rag and bone shop in South East Circus Place,
Stockbridge. The novelist Anne Fine who also lived in the area
was inspired by the name which remained faded above her shop
(now a solicitors) many years after Madame Doubtfire's death.
Her novel of the same name was in turn the inspiration for
the movie based on her book, although Robin William's character
bares little resemblence to the 'real' Madame Doubtfire.
Another famous 'madame' from Stockbridge
was Dora Noyce was well repected lady dressed in her fur
coat, twinset and pearls and posh accent and was a good
friend of Madame Doubtfire's, on the surface no one (other
than her clientele) would have suspected that she ran a
very successful brothel from her elegant townhouse at 17
Danube Street. She once said her busiest time was during
the Edinburgh Festival but the two weeks of the General
Assembly of the Church of Scotland ran a close second.
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