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Ten repurposed Edinburgh schools, including Portobello High and Juniper Green Primary

The building that housed Tynecastle High was built in 1912, and the school itself was founded that same year. After 98 years at the same site, the school moved to a different location on the same street. In 2023, the Scottish Government approved plans to convert the old Tynecastle High site into student housing. (Photo: Ian Georgeson)
The building that housed Tynecastle High was built in 1912, and the school itself was founded that same year. After 98 years at the same site, the school moved to a different location on the same street. In 2023, the Scottish Government approved plans to convert the old Tynecastle High site into student housing. (Photo: Ian Georgeson)

Everyone remembers their school days and making those early memories that will live on with us.

As time wears on many of Edinburgh’s old schools have closed, been demolished or amalgamated onto a new site.

Across the city, new houses have sprung up in place of some of the buildings. Some are awaiting redevelopment to start or to finish, including the Old Royal High school which was at the heart of plans for a new National Centre for Music. But the plans which would have seen St Mary’s specialist school at the heart of the £45 million project have been ditched by the Trust, citing major building works needed to adapt the building are ‘no longer practical’. The future of the old school is now cast in doubt.

Juniper Green Primary once stood on Woodhall Terrace in Juniper Green. After the school moved to a new campus, its old site was converted into flats. Photo: Lisa Ferguson
Juniper Green Primary once stood on Woodhall Terrace in Juniper Green. After the school moved to a new campus, its old site was converted into flats. Photo: Lisa Ferguson

Take a look at these ten schools that have been repurposed. It’s a snapshot not an exclusive list, so get in touch with any others you want to see featured.

The Old Royal High School building was erected between 1828 and 1829. Edinburgh City Council proposed converting the building into a luxury hotel but in 2021 plans were approved to turn it into a national centre for music. A lease was signed with a Trust to convert it to into the centre, to include a new home for St Mary’s Music School. Now its future is in doubt after the Trust said major building works required would 'no longer be practical' due to increases in costs. (Photo: Photographer: Scott Louden)
The Old Royal High School building was erected between 1828 and 1829. Edinburgh City Council proposed converting the building into a luxury hotel but in 2021 plans were approved to turn it into a national centre for music. A lease was signed with a Trust to convert it to into the centre, to include a new home for St Mary’s Music School. Now its future is in doubt after the Trust said major building works required would 'no longer be practical' due to increases in costs. (Photo: Photographer: Scott Louden)
Hunters Tryst school relocated to a new campus in Comiston in 2007 under the new name of Pentland Primary. The original site was demolished after a suspicious fire in 2008. The school was demolished, but the site lay empty for years until the construction of new housing in 2021. (Photo: Flickr)
Hunters Tryst school relocated to a new campus in Comiston in 2007 under the new name of Pentland Primary. The original site was demolished after a suspicious fire in 2008. The school was demolished, but the site lay empty for years until the construction of new housing in 2021. (Photo: Flickr)
Founded in 1844, Victoria Primary School spent over 170 years at its original Newhaven site and was widely considered Edinburgh’s oldest working school. After the school relocated to a new, purpose-built campus, the future of the Victorian building was thrown into question. Plans have since been announced to convert the building into a community centre. (Photo: EEN)
Founded in 1844, Victoria Primary School spent over 170 years at its original Newhaven site and was widely considered Edinburgh’s oldest working school. After the school relocated to a new, purpose-built campus, the future of the Victorian building was thrown into question. Plans have since been announced to convert the building into a community centre. (Photo: EEN)
Designed by William Henry Playfair, the former Donaldson's school for the Deaf has long been regarded among Edinburgh's finest architectural treasures. A new luxury housing development occupies the grounds and the main building is being transformed for residential use. (Photo: Lisa Ferguson)
Designed by William Henry Playfair, the former Donaldson's school for the Deaf has long been regarded among Edinburgh's finest architectural treasures. A new luxury housing development occupies the grounds and the main building is being transformed for residential use. (Photo: Lisa Ferguson)
Portobello High School was one of the largest state schools in Europe. In 2016, the school moved to a new site less than a mile away from Duddingstone Road, where the original campus stood. The giant building at Duddingston Park was flattened in June 2017 and a replacement school built on park land less than a mile away. The original site is now housing. (Photo: EEN)
Portobello High School was one of the largest state schools in Europe. In 2016, the school moved to a new site less than a mile away from Duddingstone Road, where the original campus stood. The giant building at Duddingston Park was flattened in June 2017 and a replacement school built on park land less than a mile away. The original site is now housing. (Photo: EEN)
Ainslie Park Secondary School has been converted into the new Varsity development of flats at Crew Road North. The 1930’s art deco front of the building was preserved. (Photo: Lesley Martin)
Ainslie Park Secondary School has been converted into the new Varsity development of flats at Crew Road North. The 1930’s art deco front of the building was preserved. (Photo: Lesley Martin)
Boroughmuir High School at 26 Viewforth closed in 2018, moving to a new campus at 111 Viewforth. The B-listed building was converted into luxury apartments. (Photo: EEN)
Boroughmuir High School at 26 Viewforth closed in 2018, moving to a new campus at 111 Viewforth. The B-listed building was converted into luxury apartments. (Photo: EEN)
Castlebrae Community High School closed in 2013  after the council called for the school’s suspension, over falling enrollment rates and poor attainment results. Planning for a new building commenced in 2017, and in 2022, the new Castlebrae Community Campus opened to students. (Photo: EEN)
Castlebrae Community High School closed in 2013 after the council called for the school’s suspension, over falling enrollment rates and poor attainment results. Planning for a new building commenced in 2017, and in 2022, the new Castlebrae Community Campus opened to students. (Photo: EEN)