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The Old Observatory House

Edinburgh, Scotland


Category A

Former home for resident astronomers restored as holiday accommodation and art space  

The Old Observatory House on Calton Hill, within the central Edinburgh World Heritage Site, dates back to the 18th century, when it was built to provide accommodation for the resident astronomers at the City Observatory. Designed by the New Town architect, James Craig, the Category A-listed house is a landmark in the city. 

Collective is a charitable visual arts organisation that supports and exhibits new work by international artists. The organisation runs a programme of exhibitions and activities from the City Observatory, City Dome and exhibition centre on Calton Hill. The newly renovated Old Observatory House is now part of this offer: divided into two holiday-let apartments available to rent for up to ten guests, the space will also host visiting artists and be open to the public for special events.

The AHF has been able to support Collective with a tailored loan investment towards the refurbishment and sensitive adaptation of the house. Bringing the building back into use as holiday accommodation provides an income for Collective and helps support their wider work in arts engagement, allowing the organisation to ensure their long-term viability.

AHF Funding

Project Development Grant - £25,000 (2014)

Endowment Loan - £300,000 (2020)

Image Credits

Gordon Barr
Paul Andrews








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