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Edinburgh World Heritage/Survival Stories

Survival Stories


    The survival and condition of Edinburgh’s historic buildings is remarkable. A range of traditional skills, including stonemasonry, lime harling, joinery and metalwork are required to repair, protect and future-proof these important structures.

    Many of Edinburgh’s people are concerned about the condition of its buildings. They feel that aspects of modern life, including pollution, online shopping and new-build developments, can have a negative impact on the city’s historic buildings and the communities that occupy them. Edinburgh World Heritage works hard to protect and conserve these vital elements in the city’s Old and New Towns.

    It makes you very proud when you can see something you’ve put on a building that will last for the next 150 years or so. We take on young people as apprentices from the age of 16 upwards in order to keep these traditional skills going.

    Jordan Kirk - Training Supervisor. Jordan is pictured above with qualified and apprentice stonemasons from St Mary’s Cathedral Workshop in Edinburgh



    Stone carving; Repairing and replacing roof tiles; Blacksmith repairing railings; Stone conservation in action

    Plastering, stonemasonry, plumbing – these are real skills.

    Michael - resident


    Survival Stories

    Many of Edinburgh’s people are proud of the city’s traditional pubs. Mike Smith, Landlord at the Bow Bar, is pictured here in front of this well-loved Victoria Street venue.

    (Image © Alicia Bruce)

    Speak to people in Edinburgh’s pubs ... they’ll tell you about their wee stories and where you should go in the city.

    Karen - resident


    Survival Stories

    Mark Donald, Owner of The Milkman, is pictured here in front of the restored façade of this popular independent café on Cockburn Street.

    (Image © Alicia Bruce)


    Survival Stories

    Naseer Ahmed (pictured), Co-owner of Poundsavers, an independent business in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

    Independent shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants are pillars of Edinburgh’s Old Town community. They also form an important part of the city’s streetscape. Edinburgh World Heritage administers grants to home and business owners within the World Heritage Site to help them repair and protect their buildings. The façades of The Milkman and Poundsavers were restored using funding from the scheme.

    (Image © Alicia Bruce)

    Not just one amazing building, it’s a city of them – that’s pretty awesome!

    Maggie - resident