House Estates & History
| Charteris Land
the nineteenth century part of the original open
area to the west of St John's Street and north of
the South Back was occupied by a number of breweries.
These made use of the high quality water from the
springs and wells in this part of the Canongate.
In response to
the shortage of teachers in Scotland
in the late 1950s and early 1960s Moray
House looked to the possibility of
building additional teaching facilities
close to existing estate. In 1961 Moray
House purchased the property of the
Aitchison Brewery. This included buildings
at the ends of Playhouse and Old Playhouse
Closes as well offices (no. 18 and
19 St John's Street), a tenement (no.
20) and Maltings. The price paid was £50,000.
1964 draft plans for a ten storey teaching block were drawn up by the
architects, Gordon & Dey, to be built adjacent to the west side of St
John Street. However, the Royal Fine Art Commission raised an objection
to the planned height of the building. Consequently the building of the
finally agreed six storeys wasn't started until December 1966. Subsequent
delays arising from industrial disputes meant the facility wasn't handed
over until February 1969.
advice from the Edinburgh City Archivist this teaching block was named
building is home to Moray House's departments of Educational Studies
and part of Curriculm Research & Development.
The Charteris Land Sculptured Panels
sculptured wall (and a fourth panel)
were commissioned from David 'Dusty' Miller, a member of staff at Moray
House. These were incorporated along the front of the building.
sculptured wall was cast in reinforced concrete into expanded polystyrene
moulds. The continuous twenty nine hour operation was undertaken by Arnott
McLeod, Building Contractors.
three panels comprising the wall and the fourth panel symbolise
on the use of the maze by psychologists such as Skinner, Tolman
and Hull in experiments on rats to ascertain the power of deduction
and memory retention in the learning process.
a form of life starts with a coincidence of two elements and whose
eventual shape is determined by external influences.
differing units are selected and sorted in a rational way to form
an organic retrieval system.
different forms fitting together symbolising the interdependence of
man, woman and child.