From There… To Here

The social history of Wester Hailes



In 1964, at the time of the public inquiry into Edinburgh Corporation’s plans for re-zoning the 297 acres of farmland on which Wester Hailes was subsequently built, a local group was formed to oppose the proposals. The Wester Hailes Amenity Association had as its objective the preservation of the land for agricultural purposes. According to WHAA, Wester Hailes was a farming community which contributed “in no small way” to the country’s food supply. The  Association also argued that the people who would be  made unemployed as a result of the housing development would find it difficult to find new jobs. Furthermore, the land was “fringed by a residential area where residents prize their amenities very highly”.

If you visit the Juniper Green 300 website at and look in the History section, 1857-1957, there is a transcript of Mr John Kermack’s reminiscences in which he describes in quite a bit of  detail his memories of the people and the buildings at the south end of Wester Hailes Road as it approached Gillespie Crossroads. There is even a drawing which he has made of the line of cottages where he lived as a child in the 1940s and a photo of his father and grandfather tending the beehives which they kept in the garden.

In last week’s post we included an aerial photograph of the Wester Hailes area taken around the same time. We’ve reproduced it again below with an  added zoom facility to allow you to examine the detail more closely.



  1. The address on my my birth cert when I was born is kings farm, westerhailes road, juniper green…this was in 1966, can this farm be pinpointed on this map for me or is there any more photos of it? I think it was my grandparents farm and my parents lived in a caravan on it when I was born..would just be interesting to find any more photos of it thanks

    • We don’t have many photos from this period as most of the material is related to the more recent newspaper and events in the last few decades. You could try contacting SCRAN at as they have a large amount of digitalised images and some maps. The other place worth contacting would be the RCAHMS at which again has a large body of material including ariel maps from different periods. Not all of this is digitalised but there is a link to the National Collection of Ariel Photography.