Merchiston Castle, Colinton
As pupil numbers flourished at the original site of Merchiston Castle School in Bruntsfield, it became necessary to expand some of the buildings and a Memorial Hall with an organ was planned in memory of those who had died in the First World War. These projects were proving impossible to plan due to the location of the houses and roads surrounding the old Castle site.
In October 1924, Dr JW Dowden, Chairman of the Board of Governors 1923 to 1936, persuaded the Merchiston Board to purchase the 100 acre estate of Colinton House, together with its stables, walled garden and parkland. The Memorial Hall and main building, Dining Hall, Rogerson and Chalmers Houses were built, and in the Autumn Term of 1930, the School opened at its new location. The area chosen for playing rugby and cricket had to be levelled, much of the work being done by the boys, and by 1927 they had removed over 200 tons of stones by hand in order to provide the playing fields we all enjoy today.
Dowden Wing, which connects Rogerson House to the main building, is named after Dr Dowden.