The Dean Gardens are the largest of the four ‘pleasure grounds’ to border the Water of Leith and they are the second-biggest private amenity gardens in Edinburgh encompassing over seven acres. They feature a series of planted slopes and level lawn areas with many delightful viewpoints over the Dean Village. The lay-out of pathways, lawns and the wooden pavilion are virtually unchanged from the original Victorian era plans but the tennis court has been replaced with a well equipped children’s play area.
Strong planting growth including many forest trees had changed the character of the Gardens over the decades. Today, following the removal of most of the elm trees and a variety of other aging trees the Dean Gardens has become a brighter more open space again.
The Dean Gardens was originally founded in the late 1860’s by public-spirited, nearby residents who wanted to improve the steep slope then used for sheep grazing and in places, disfigured with piles of building spoil. They also were against plans to construct a new terrace of townhouses (Cambridge Terrace) near the impressive Telford Bridge completed in 1832.
The original work took over 10 years including acquisition of additional land. In today’s money the original Dean Gardens work cost almost £1.8 million pounds. These funds were raised entirely by private subscriptions, modest bank loans and fund raising events – an impressive community feat with an enduring legacy.
The location of The Dean Gardens can be found by clicking on the Scotland Map in the right hand column of this page.
There are four entrance gates to the Dean Gardens. Three are located on Eton Terrace; by the end of the Dean Bridge, another in the middle of the terrace and a third on the corner with Lenox Street.
The fourth and nearest entrance to Stockbridge is located at the corner of Ann Street and Upper Dean Terrace.
The Dean Gardens affords its membership with a beautiful, short walking route between the Stockbridge and the Edinburgh’s West End.