Madelvic House and Works

An historic complex of industrial buildings on Granton Park Avenue in NW Edinburgh, the Madelvic Works opened in 1898 to manufacture electric motor carriages. It is said to be the oldest purpose-built car factory remaining in the UK. The company was founded by Sir William Peck (1862 - 1925), Edinburgh's City Astronomer. Their first car was propelled by a fifth wheel in the middle of the front axle. Designs were revised and, in 1899, the company built the first motor vans for the Post Office in Scotland that were used to transport mail between the Head Post Office in Waterloo Place and Leith. Despite this success and design improvements, early electric vehicles could not compete with those powered by petrol engines, which were both more powerful and flexible, and the company failed in 1900. It was taken over by the Kingsburgh Motor Company, which built cars driven by twelve horse-power internal combustion engines but were themselves taken over by Stirling's Motor Carriages of Hamilton in 1902 which, as the Scottish Motor Engineering Company, made lorries, buses and cars here between 1905 and 1912. The buildings were used by the Admiralty as a torpedo store during the First World War. They were then bought by United Wire in 1925 and remained in use by that company until 2001, when the property was sold to Waterfront Edinburgh Ltd., a government-owned company responsible for the redevelopment of the Granton area. The former offices of the car-manufacturer remain in use as Madelvic House, with the design of a vehicle-wheel above the entrance. The intention is that these become Waterfront Edinburgh's headquarters. Although derelict in 2014, Waterfront Edinburgh intends to restore the Works to their original condition and use them as managed workspaces. Modern housing has been constructed adjacent to what has been named Madelvic Square, part of the Edinburgh Waterfront development.

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