1920 City Boundary Extension Centenary

Edinburgh City Archives, Libraries and Museums are working together on an outreach project to mark the centennial commemoration of the 1920 Edinburgh Boundaries Extension and Tramways Act.

The city boundaries were extended in November 1920 to incorporate the Burgh of Leith in the north and the Midlothian parishes of Cramond, Corstorphine, Colinton and Liberton to the west and south of the city. The expansion meant the city grew from 17 square miles to 53 square miles and increased its population from 320,000 to 425,000.

The ‘amalgamation’, as it was referred to at the time, was welcomed by some but opposed by others - in particular Leith Town Council who fought to retain its independence. The centenary commemoration provides an opportunity for everyone to understand how the city has grown and for the communities to reaffirm their own identities and heritage.

There are already plans amongst local heritage and community groups to mark the anniversary. Whether it is local exhibitions celebrating a community’s history, workshops and performances exploring what happened in 1920, or recording oral histories of those who have lived in a community the longest, initiatives are being organised around the city.

A community steering group has been brought together to coordinate what activities could be done collaboratively, or with support from Council Archive, Library and Museum services. Each of the boundary extension areas are represented within this group.

It is often the city centre of Edinburgh that receives attention, however this project focuses on the communities that joined in 1920. If you live in, or you are from, one of the communities that came into the city in 1920 and are interested in finding out more about what is being organised, contact the local heritage group of your area. Alternatively, you can contact [email protected] for information.