Edinburgh audio tour: History and Architecture in Edinburgh’s Dean Village

History and Architecture in Edinburgh’s Dean Village

Walking Tour

75 mins

About the Tour

Chart the fate of Dean Village from industrious prosperity to complete disrepute, before it became the most desirable residential district in Edinburgh. During this walking tour, I’ll take you around the ancient and picturesque milling village that still contains traces of its Baronial legacy. I’ll show you the old bridge, the tollbooth, the mill and the weir, which were all formerly controlled by the Incorporation of Baxters (bakers).

I’ll point out easy-to-miss details on buildings, and share old maps and drawings with you as we walk the lush green banks of the Water of Leith. Together, we’ll marvel at the goddess Hygeia depicted in a Neoclassical mineral water temple before taking in the 1830s stonework of Dean Bridge, designed by architect and stonemason, Thomas Telford. While hearing about model Victorian social housing, we’ll wander around Well Court, a heritage building commissioned in the 1880s by the owner of the Scotsman Newspaper.

Lastly, we’ll walk through a chic cemetery which was the place to be buried in the 1800s, to see two modern art galleries, once glamorous Georgian orphanages.

Along the way, I’ll answer questions like:

• Where are signs of Dean Village’s former industrial activity still visible?
• Which Scottish castle is the Well Court design based on?
• Why did the Lord Provost pay for the Dean Bridge out of his own pocket?
• Where does the name “St Bernard’s Well” come from?

If you’re after a peaceful walk away from the busy city streets then join me, an architecture tutor and tour guide, on this walk through Edinburgh’s picturesque Dean Village.

Tour Producer


Olga Gogoleva

Hello there! My name is Olga, I am a designer and an architecture tutor here at Edinburgh University. I am also a founder of a tour company Cobble Tales.

At Cobble Tales, local architects and architecture students have been guiding enthusiasts and professionals, visitors and locals since 2016. Our many 5-star Tripadvisor and Google reviews testify to our quality tour content and a great time exploring Edinburgh on a walking tour.

I love showing off Edinburgh's beauty and chatting about buildings, so let's get going!

How VoiceMap Works

Focus on your surroundings, not the screen

VoiceMap’s audio tour app uses GPS to play audio automatically, at the right time and place. Just install it, then download your tour and go to the starting point to begin your walk, drive, cycle, train trip or even boat ride.

Follow a route with turn-by-turn-directions

Tours follow a route from a fixed starting point. This is how we provide turn-by-turn directions. It also helps publishers tell a story greater than the sum of its parts. But you can use Resume to pick up a tour from the closest location whenever you like.

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Use VoiceMap offline

The VoiceMap app works entirely offline if there’s no data connection, so you don’t have to pay roaming fees. Just download the tour over WiFi before you get started.

Major Landmarks

  • West Mill

  • Dean Cemetery

  • Old Baxters Tolbooth

  • Well Court

  • Scottish Modern Art Galleries

  • St Bernard’s Well

Directions to Starting Point

The tour starts on the street crossing next to Stockbridge market. Stand facing the river, with your back to the community notice board.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Stockbridge Market on a Sunday.
A well deserved cake in the café of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One). Best had in the garden.
Great snacks and good chat in Braw café owned by a Dean Village local.

Best time of day

The Dean Cemetery that the tour passes through closes at 5pm in summer and dusk in winter, 2PM during the pandemic, so it is best to start this tour in the morning or just after lunchtime.


Mind that the Dean Cemetery that the tour passes through does not allow dogs.
Wear sturdy shoes as the ground can be wet and muddy in places. Keep to the paths.


A wonderful and enjoyable summary one of Edinburgh's most loved areas. Olga is a joy to listen to, her narration and timings are excellent. Being a guide on my own, I can highly recommend this route to you.

Thanks Olga

Posted by David , 8 months ago

Oh this is so lovely to hear about our Edinburgh Dean Village tour! Thank you, David.


Posted by Olga , 8 months ago

This was an amazing tour. I learned so much and Olga's pace and style was perfect. All of her stories are interesting and insightful. The map works very well too. 100% recommend.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 1 year ago

Thank you, so happy you enjoyed the Dean Village audio tour worked wonders for you!

Kind Regards,

Posted by Olga , about 1 year ago

Fantastic tour that would suit tourists and locals alike. Olga is so knowledgeable about local history and architecture so we feel we have learned loads even though we live in Edinburgh.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 1 year ago

Thank you for your local's feedback, very glad you learned new things about Edinburgh on the Dean Village tour.

Kind Regards,

Posted by Olga , about 1 year ago

Absolutely fantastic. Cannot say enough good things about this tour and Olga as a narrator. It’s clear she has an obscene amount of architectural and historical knowledge and she pieces it together so clearly. I learned so many new things on a walk that I do regularly. Highly recommend!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 1 year ago

Oh, thank you! I am happy you enjoyed your Dean Village audio guide.


Posted by Olga , about 1 year ago

A very interesting tour! Plenty of history, fun architectural details I wouldn't notice, and of course - lovely scenery of Dean Village!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , over 1 year ago

Amazing, glad you liked your tour in Dean Village!


Posted by Olga , about 1 year ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
History and Architecture in Edinburgh’s Dean Village