Friday, December 14, 2007

Holy Corner
Holy Corner is a colloquial name for a small area of Edinburgh, Scotland, and (along with Church Hill) is actually part of the area more properly known as Burghmuirhead, itself part of the lands of Greenhill. Holy Corner lies between the areas of Bruntsfield and Morningside. It is well-known to local people (and most Edinburgh taxi drivers) and has borne the name for a long while, but never appears on maps or in addresses, being really just a nickname.
The name derives from the crossroads, where Morningside Road, Colinton Road and Chamberlain Road meet; on each of the corners of the crossroad is a church (although two are slightly set back.) Church Hill is the small area to the south, with Morningside beyond, and the north end of the crossroads leads into Bruntsfield Place. Merchiston is to the west.
The churches in question are: Christ Church (Scottish Episcopal Church), Morningside United (Church of Scotland and United Reformed Church) and Morningside Baptist Church (Baptist Church). The latter is to move its Sunday services to the former Braid Church (Church of Scotland) building further south in Morningside from mid-May 2006, but intends to keep the Holy Corner building. The fourth of the churches has been turned into the Eric Liddell centre (ELC). The area's "holiness" has been enhanced in recent years by having a Christian "centre of healing", an Iyengar yoga centre, and also the Edinburgh base of the "Western Buddhist Order" group (until 2005) in the vicinity. There is also a Bank of Scotland branch in the north west corner.
Adding to the count of nearby churches, a short distance away atop Church Hill is the Church Hill Theatre which was built as a church, and not far beyond that is the former Morningside Parish Church (Church of Scotland) which is now a part of Napier University, the congregation having been merged with another church towards the south of Morningside in the late 1980s.
Other notable features in the immediate area include Napier University's Merchiston campus, which incorporates Merchiston Castle (or tower), former home of and birthplace of John Napier, the mathematician and alleged necromancer. Merchiston Tower is also the ancient seat of Clan Napier.
The former site of a garden centre in the north west corner, next to a branch of the Bank of Scotland, was transformed into a compact "metropolitan" supermarket for Tesco, with adjacent coffee house and furniture shop, in 2006.

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