Welcome to The Dunstane Houses

A breath of fresh Orkney air in the heart of Edinburgh






Why book direct
  • Best rates – we’re never cheaper elsewhere
  • Free room upgrades for stays of 4 nights or more (Nov–Mar)
  • Bottle of Joseph Perrier champagne with suite bookings
  • Flexible cancellation policy
  • Reduced rates for local attractions

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Numbers 3 and 4 West Coates were built on land owned by George Heriot’s Trust which in 1851 was sold at auction to George Lorimer, a builder, with plans to build ‘Victorian Villas’. These homes were to be built immediately to the North of the Turnpike Toll Road to Glasgow then called Coltbridge Road as it passed through the nearby Coltbridge estates. OS maps of the time show the plots clearly

The architect of the Jacobean/baronial style villas was Alexander Black who did not live to see their completion. In 1865 George Heriot’s Trust regained ownership and began to sell the new villas while retaining their feudal superiority.

Number 3 was marketed as Randolph Villa and purchased in 1865 by John Kirkhope a grocer who traded from Melville Place. The house was home to him, his wife, six children and two sevants. The Kirkhope family retained the property until the early 1920s. In the twenties, thirties and early forties the property was owned by a Mrs Annie Young and heirs. By 1950 the house was owned by Sir John Edmund Ritchie Findlay, proprietor of the Scotsman newspaper. Title deeds may reveal later history.

Number 4 was marketed as Dunstane Villa and purchased in 1866 by Thomas Gill a silk merchant at Romanes & Paterson of North Bridge. In 1875 he purchased an additional plot of land to the immediate North of Dunstane.

Thomas was a single man who lived there with two servants until the early years of the twentieth century. His sister and her family lived directly opposite in 5 Hampton Terrace and in the 1890s his niece Thomasina moved across the road to stay with him in his later years. By 1901 his widowed sister, Mrs Margaret Shearer (nee Gill) had moved over from number 5 Hampton Terrace to live with him and in due course one of her daughters, Mrs Jane Gill Paul inherited Thomas’ property. Mrs Paul lived there until the late twenties.

By 1930 the property had been purchased by a distiller, Henry James Ross, later Sir Henry Ross. His father donated the Ross Fountain in Princes Street Gardens. He seems to have added a garage to the property. He lived there until the late 1950s when the property became Dunstane College, a training facility for the RBS until 1976. RBS Archives hold photos of the property at that time
In the late seventies the property was purchased by William Hunter and converted into a hotel. In 1994 the hotel came into the ownership of Mr and Mrs Veitch who paid a fee to their feudal superiors, George Heriot’s trustees, to obtain permission to run the premises as a licensed hotel.

5 Hampton Terrace
Built in the 1860s the first owner in 1869 was Archibald Shearer, a music seller. His wife, Margaret Gill, was the sister of Thomas Gill of Dunstane Villa. They had three children and two servants. Around 1900 Archibald died. His wife moved across the road to live with her brother at Dunstane Villa.

By 1901 the house was the home of Elizabeth Menzies, a widow, who lived there with her two children, a nephew and two servants. The house was then occupied in the twenties, thirties and forties by Mrs Margaret Cunningham. In the fifties two medical men lived there. First Dr Alex Black and then Dr Alexander Donaldson Willox. Title deeds may reveal the history thereafter.