St Leonards

Location type


Names and dates

St Leonards (1834-1847)
St Leonards (1860-1860)

Opened on the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway.


A notable early passenger, goods and minerals terminus in Edinburgh - Edinburgh's first station and was located to the south east of the Old Town. The station was probably not called St Leonards in the early days, it would be the Edinburgh terminus of the Edinburgh and Dalkeith Railway. At first trains were horse drawn. The primary purpose was to bring coal to Edinburgh from pits to the south east, most of the site was dedicated to this and facilities expanded.

Approach was from the east via an incline and the St Leonards Tunnel and an engine house for the incline was located at the east end.

Francis Whishaw described it thus

The Edinburgh station and depot occupies about eight imperial acres. There is nothing worthy of notice in the buildings at this station.

The Ordnance Survey Name Book described it (somewhat briefly) thus
St Leonards where an extensive Coal is kept.

The name St Leonards is from an old church and district name.

Closure to passengers came with the development of the North British Railway with a superior station site at North Bridge and a new connection to a rebuilt line to Dalkeith and (not long afterwards) on to Hawick. The site became a coal depot solely, except for a brief use again in 1860 (when the name St Leonards probably did apply).

Most of the site is now built over, but one notable building at the extreme north west end of the site survives. This is a three storey warehouse. Rails entered at the east end of the building and through the large ground floor doorways via turnplates. There are doorways on the first and second floors, but the hoists have been removed. For many years this was 'The Engine Shed' bakery until closure in 2015. It is now a distillery.
A car park, the entry flanked by large stone pillars, is built on the site of the sidings immediately by the building. A single storey building at its west end at the entrance onto St Leonards Lane.


Holyrood Distillery



Station terminus

External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


Listing: B