Governor’s House, Edinburgh

part of the old Calton Jail

Governor's House, Edinburgh
Governor's House, Edinburgh

The Governor’s House is located south of Calton Hill, next to the south-east corner of Old Calton Burial Ground and overlooks Waverley Station.

Visitors to Edinburgh, who arrive by train for the first time, sometimes confuse the Governor’s House with Edinburgh Castle.

The building is a remnant of Calton Jail, once the largest prison in Scotland, and contained the committee room used by prison officials.

The designer of the jail, Archibald Elliot (1761-1823), was also responsible for the nearby Regent Arch and Waterloo Place.

The jail closed in 1927 and except for the Governor’s House, was demolished in 1937 to make way for St Andrew’s House.

At one point, the building was considered a potential home for the First Minister of Scotland, replacing the Scottish National Trust’s Bute House.

The Scottish Fiscal Commission is currently based at the Governor’s House.

Sources and Further Reading

Calton Jail – Scottish Government

Archibald Elliot – Architect

King of the castle – Alex Salmond set to move into tower of power – Daily Record – 01 July 2012

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