History

History of Ashdene House and the Grange The Grange District (the Grange of St. Giles) was once the farmland which provided food for the people of the parish of St. Giles, and is now a conservation area. The Grange was developed as a residential district from 1825 until the early 1900s by the landowner Sir Thomas Dick-Lauder of Fountainhall and family. The street names of the area reflect the names and lands of the family e.g. Fountainhall Road (Fountainhall is an estate in the Scottish Borders), Dick Place, Lauder Road, St. Thomas' Road etc. Ashdene House was built around 1900 on the orchard for the mansion known as Grange House (which stood to the west of Lauder Road until 1950s). Next door was the red sandstone building of Fountainhall Road Church which was demolished in 1970s and replaced by Newington Library. The house was constructed of yellow sandstone, in the Victorian townhouse style, by local builder James Alexander, to reflect the architecture around it. James Alexander and his father George, built a large number of properties in the Grange. Most properties in Fountainhall Road were first occupied by the educated gentry of the city e.g. doctors, ministers of the church, lawyers, university professors etc. To this day, it is a very desirable residential district due to its proximity to the city centre as well as its quiet leafy streets. The first inhabitant of Ashdene House was Professor Orlando Charnock Bradley, Principal of Royal Dick Veterinary School (then at Summerhall, beside the Meadows). He lived in the house with his servants until his death 1937. Thereafter the house remained a family home until the Daulby family started the Guest House business in the late 1960s. David and Caroline took over the Guest House in 1994 when David's parents retired. Since then the house has been carefully restored and sympathetically decorated to retain many of its grand original features such as its ornate cornices and architrival wooden mouldings.