Shocking videos reveal loose ornaments, chimneys and stone slabs across Edinburgh at risk of falling on passersby below

Share this article
Have your say

Recent videos taken by a local stonemason reveal just how unsafe Edinburgh’s picture-perfect stone structures can be, as pieces of stone on buildings all over the city are at risk of coming loose and falling on passersby below.

Stewart Inkster, 35, of Edinburgh Stonemason Ltd, warns that “Edinburgh isn’t safe at all”.

A video shared on social media by Mr Inkster shows a large chunk of stone easily coming free from around a window at the top of a building of George Street.

“There are quite a lot of buildings like that around Edinburgh,” said Mr Inkster.

READ MORE: 'Someone is going to be killed' - Nearly 180 reports of falling masonry from Edinburgh's crumbling tenements in one year

“When I’m about walking I’m always wary of it, I’m always looking up.”

Stewart Inkster.

Stewart Inkster.

The problem gets worse with bad weather, as if rain gets into the cracks between stones it can cause pieces to become loose.

“Some places are really, really bad, you just don’t realise until you get up there,” added Mr Inkster, who has been a stonemason in the city for 15 years.

“Everybody knows about it, they just ignore it. Some people say they get bits falling off but they just sweep them up!”

Mr Inkster’s company is employed to check buildings and secure any loose bits of stone which may be at risk of coming loose and falling onto the area below.

The company has carried out evaluations on city landmarks such as the Camera Obscura, St Cuthbert’s Church and St Paul’s and St George’s Church.

It has also done work on Seton Castle in East Lothian and The Old Mill House in Dalkeith.

Mr Inkster’s services cost between around £600 and £2000.

“It’s not much, given the price of some of those buildings,” he said.

“What price do you put on safety?”