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Liberton Bank House

A little further along the burn, going north from Gilmerton Road, stands Liberton Bank House. Built in about 1780, it was bought in 1844 by Mary Burton, the sister of a leading Edinburgh lawyer, John Hill Burton. She was a friend of the Conan Doyle family, and invited the young Arthur Conan Doyle, later author of the celebrated Sherlock Holmes stories, to lodge there with her while he attended nearby Newington Academy in the 1860's. This allowed Arthur to get away from the unhelpful influence of his alcoholic , depressive father, Charles Altamont Doyle. Mary Burton continued to live in Liberton Bank House until her death in 1898.

After the departure from the house of its last owner in the 1980's, the house has run into dereliction, and became the focus of a local planning dispute after a proposal by the fastfood chain MacDonalds, to demolish it to build a hamburger restaurant. It has been proposed that the house should be protected, and something made of its links with Arthur Conan Doyle, being the only one of his Edinburgh boyhood homes still in existence.

We are grateful to Colin Symes for Liberton information reproduced from his website - www.colinsymes.u-net.com.

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