The Pleasance

A street and small district of South-Central Edinburgh, The Pleasance rises steeply from the Cowgate, a half-mile (0.8 km) south southeast of the city centre, and forms the first section of the what becomes the Dalkeith Road (A7). The area is best known for a complex of buildings now owned by the University of Edinburgh and used as a Sports Centre and Student Union. Several of these buildings formed part of Bell's Brewery from the early 19th C. until 1934 when the company folded due to the discovery by HM Customs and Excise of a long-running tax fraud. The brewery gave way to a Motor Engineering Works. Also amongst these buildings was a Quaker's Meeting House (built in 1791), which is now B-listed, and the Quaker's burial ground adjacent remains extant.

For the month of August each year these buildings form a venue for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, established in 1985, and a decade later the name was transplanted via the Pleasance Theatre Trust to the Pleasance Theatre in Islington (London).

Slum housing surrounding the street was replaced from 1930s to 1990s.

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