What is known is that the eastern part of Harrison Park first came under control of the Corporation in 1886 with a 15 year feu of 13.92 acres from George Watson’s Hospital plus an additional 1.375 acres were feued in 1902 for a bowling green and playground. The park is split in two by Harrison Road, with a playground and football pitches on the east side.
The western portion was purchased for £10,000 from the Merchant Company Education Board on 15 May 1930. There is also a wayleave for erection of fencing on S boundary if Harrison Park paid by Parks A/c (not demanded since 1978) Burdens include being bound to enclose north west and south west boundaries with a plain upright iron railing 5 foot high having posts and stays securely set into stones or other approved method.
In 2000 North Merchiston Boys Club requested outline planning permission from Edinburgh Council to demolish their current facilities, erect private flats on the premisis and build a new sports center on open parts of the park (planning ref 00/00997/OUT). Following a campaign from residents surrounding the park the application was refused. The council then carried out a cobnsultation with surrounding residents and stake holders and came up with a development plan. This resulted in the old bowling green and the tennis courts being removed and turned over to grass.
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East Harrison Park
Near Watson Crescent
In 1910 the Fountain Brewery set up a bowling club in the raised area to the south east section of the park near Watson Crescent. In 1955 the club moved to Slateford Road. It was also home to the Bainfield Bowling and Social Club from 1924 to 1951.
Near Harrison Lane
The large flat part of land was the home to a Cycle Speedway track, an earth track about 80 meters in length and was home to the Scottish Rangers team between 1963 and 1968. In 1962 the track was used for the World Final – the biggest cycle speedway event ever held in Scotland. Photos can be seen here
West Harrison Park
A map from 1914 shows a 2 paths forming a cross over this part of the park. The paths had disappeared by 1931. The maps can be seen here – http://www.old-maps.co.uk
The area contained 6 tennis courts with a 3 meter high fence. In the 1950’s the courts were covered red blaes and were tarmaced in the 1960’s. In 2000 the fences were removed, the tarmac was covered with top soil and the courts were grassed over.
Home to a 36 hole putting green, containing a red round and a white round. The putting green was removed in 1999. Toilet block originally in north west corner of square.
Building originally in north east corner housed Harrison Park Old Men’s Club. Taken over by the Edinburgh canal society. Demolished in 2005.