Well Court

Well Court

Well Court, Edinburgh

The history of Well Court

Well Court, located in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Dean Village, was commissioned in the 1880s by Sir John Findlay, owner of the Scotsman newspaper. It was designed as social housing for local workers, and included a communal hall, a large courtyard and small but comfortable flats.

Cultural significance

Sir John Findlay hoped to help the occupants of the Dean Village after the large mills which had provided employment moved out of the area in the late 19th century. Rents for the flats were affordable, and in return tenants had to commit to acceptable behaviour and to attending church in the communal hall on Sundays.

Why is it important to Edinburgh?

Well Court is a rare example of an arts and crafts building in Edinburgh and is recognised as one of the best examples of the work of Sydney Mitchell, an important Scottish architect of the time. The building improved the area and took account of earlier traditional buildings in the area.

Key events

A programme of repair and renovation was undertaken in 2007, with support from Edinburgh World Heritage. Only traditional materials were used – from sandstone, to roof tiles, glazing and the reproduction of the original paint colours. The weathercock and clock faces were also re-gilded.

Additional information

Well Court was completed in 1886.
Well Court’s intimate, enclosed nature and its position as a tranquil oasis in the heart of the Dean Village set it apart. It offers a serene retreat from the lively streets outside, inviting visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in Edinburgh’s past.
Well Court is located in the picturesque Dean Village, just a short walk from the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre.

↪ Find on Google Maps

You can help protect the UNESCO World Heritage Site by joining Edinburgh World Heritage, by donating to us directly, or by attending one of our events.

For more information about how to support us, please use the links below.

If you would like to know more about the topic above, please contact us directly.