Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Cables Wynd House

The famous Leith 'Banana Flats'

Cables Wynd House, better known as the Leith Banana Flats[1][2] or as the Banana Block[3] because of its curved shape, is a nine-storey local authority housing block in Leith, Edinburgh. The building, in fact, has ten storeys. The ground floor is called Cables Wynd and the nine floors above constitute Cables Wynd House. This often leads to confusion in postal and other services. Communal heating and other energy measures have recently[when?] been installed by City of Edinburgh Council.



Under construction between 1962 and 1965, for many families, the complex offered a welcome improvement over the overcrowding and slum housing conditions that were still common problems at the time.[4] . There is now extensive security in the building which includes a 24 manned concierge, key fob entry system and security camera system on every walkway and in each of 9 lifts. The building is well maintained with walkways and lifts cleaned on a daily basis by council employees.


The building was designed by Alison & Hutchinson & Partners under the leadership of Robert Forbes Hutchinson. It contains 212 flats, which have a 24-hour concierge service, situated on the ground floor, and CCTV coverage. Most of the properties use deck access, but the ground floor flats are accessed via individual front doors. Some of these properties are preferentially allocated to old people. But in recent years many young families have been allocated larger flats in the building . All but five of the flats remain in public ownership as of 2015.[5]

The entire building was awarded an 'A' listing by Historic Environment Scotland from January 2017 being cited as one of the best examples of 'brutalist' architecture in Scotland. This is the highest rating which can be awarded to a building in Scotland.

Use in fictionEdit

In Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, the flats were the childhood home of the character Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson.

In 2007, the block was used during filming of Wedding Belles, which was also created by Irvine Welsh.


  1. ^ Airgun incident, 2006 Archived 5 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Suicide fire, 2005 Archived 5 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ LCACA Archived 17 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine. (pdf), Leith Conservation Area Character Appraisal, approved 18 April 2002
  4. ^ Record View
  5. ^ Interview with City of Edinburgh Council, May 2015

Coordinates: 55°58′27″N 3°10′25″W / 55.97417°N 3.17361°W / 55.97417; -3.17361