'And finally, not everyone’s being doing topical. In fact, here’s the rather lovely 6 Oxgangs Avenue devoted to the history of the development of the area, this week highlighting how the block of flats came into being. Could have been prompted by Who do you think you are? Or just a timely reminder that not everything worth blogging about is in the here and now.'

Kate Higgins, Scottish Roundup 26/08/2012

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Landscape; the Farms and RLS

The flats built at Oxgangs on the south side of Edinburgh were on farm land, presumably on the former Oxgangs Farm, situated in the lea of the Pentland Hills. Looking back the air must have been fresh and clear as there were no local industries there. There was however still some local working farms on the go including Hunters Tryst Farm which was a dairy farm. Further up toward the Pentlands was Swanston Farm which grew potatoes and turnips and was also a pig farm and always noticeably smelly whenever we ventured past it-but more of that later.
RLS from a photograph by Lloyd Osbourne
Eighty years or so before, Robert Louis Stevenson walked along the same dirt road going to and from Swanston Village where the family had a holiday house, Swanston House. Perhaps it is a trick of memory, but I seem to remember seeing his initials carved on a door of the old Oxgangs Farm-house on Oxgangs Road North which then became a police station. Comiston Farm also grew potatoes and turnips; a beautiful house was an integral part. At one time there were wild rumours circulating of a ghost haunting the farm, known as the White Lady-this caused great consternation amongst the pupils at Hunters Tryst which was adjacent to the farm.

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