Stockbridge is more than just a suburb of Edinburgh, as this collection of fascinating facts demonstrates!
There was indeed a bridge in Stockbridge.
The name of this particular suburb of Edinburgh was derived from the Old English stocc brycg, which loosely translates as ‘log bridge’ but it was certainly not unique in Scotland; in fact, numerous other place names around the United Kingdom are derived from the same phrase, including the creatively named Hampshire town of… Stockbridge.
But surely it should be called Stonebridge?
On account of the complete absence of a log bridge spanning the Water of Leith today, then maybe – after all, the current structure, which was constructed in 1825 from Atholl Street to St Bernard’s, is a rather more durable stone than its ancient predecessor. However, for the sake of tradition, Stockbridge it remains.
Stockbridge has a long sporting tradition.
Absolutely! In fact, the playing fields at Raeburn Place hosted the first ever international rugby match between Scotland and England in 1871 (demonstrating how far both countries had come since the Middle Ages when the favourite pastime was killing each other), while two matches in the 1999 Cricket World Cup were also held in the district.
Wait! Scotland has a cricket team?
Yes – Scotland’s national cricket team is based at The Grange Club in Stockbridge and has just celebrated its quarter centenary. The team, which became associate members of the ICC after ditching its links with England (call it Indyref -1), has featured in three World Cups and three Twenty20 tournaments, although it took six attempts to actually win a match, against Hong Kong in 2016. Wait, Hong Kong has a cricket team…?
Stockbridge has a distinguished line of residents.
Among the numerous famous faces who have walked the streets of Stockbridge over the centuries are artists Sir Henry Raeburn, Horatio McCulloch and Edwin G Lucas; boson discoverer Peter Higgs; Shirley Manson, only the third Scotswoman to sing a James Bond theme; and Holly the computer, from Red Dwarf.