The Waters of Leith bubble and chatter on a serpentine course drawn through the heart of Stockbridge, former bohemian artist capital and now the essence of metropolitan chic. St. Bernard’s Well nestles in a Greek temple set in a hollow; famed for its therapeutic waters, the public comes for picnics or drinks during weekends year-round. New Town’s formal Georgian architecture spills over into a number of fine monuments and St Michael’s Church at the eastern border with Edinburgh, its tall clocktower containing the longest pendulum in Europe. A commemorative stone archway for old Stockbridge Market stands over an adjacent lane swallowed up by parkland and curving roads integrating mews and shops at ground level. A large stone bridge spanning the shallow river lends the area its name, sinking into an architectural scar where original Georgian shops were cleared to make way for unimaginative, bland flats and the medical centre.
Raeburn Place acts as the commercial corridor for Stockbridge, a rainbow of successful secondhand shops interspersed among specialty boutiques and gourmet delicatessens. As the site of the first rugby match, its position in Scottish sport is assured by the pitch for the national cricket team and the prestigious Edinburgh Academy’s school sports fields flanking the shopping district. Narrow colony houses fanned out along side streets form a village in their own right, rows of brick-faced homes intended for craftsmen now occupied by white-collar workers.