Locations: 28 and 30 Regent Terrace
28 Regent Terrace was opened by General de Gaulle in 1942 as the Free French House. During this visit to Edinburgh in 1942, de Gaulle made a speech during which he said: “I do not think that a Frenchman could have come to Scotland at any time without being aware of a special emotion. Awareness of the thousand links, still living and cherished, of the Franco-Scottish Alliance, the oldest alliance in the world, leaps to his mind.” There is a plaque commemorating a visit by de Gaulle on the external wall of the building.
The building was used as a place for members of the Free French movement to recuperate between missions during the war. During the conflict the building was particularly popular with members of the French naval forces. The Free French forces were led by General de Gaulle who opposed the Nazi-backed Vichy government in France and fled to London where he organised the movement.
After the war, the French government declared that the house was to be the permanent residence of its representative in Scotland.
Mme Nicole Taillafer is the present Consul-General of France in Edinburgh in 2022.
You can see a video of 28 Regent Terrace here.
30 Regent Terrace was the home of one of Scotland’s best-loved artists, Frances Boileau Caddell from 1932-1935. Caddell is one of the leading “Scottish Colourists” had strong European connections. He lived in France, German and Italy. in his youth. He and his fellow Scottish Colourists were influenced by Cezanne, Matisse and the French Fauve artists and exhibited his work on several occasions in Paris. Caddell also lived at 6 Ainslie Place. You can find more details of Caddell in his entry in our Edinburgh New Town Eurowalk.
To get to the next stop on our tour (the Ukrainian Community Centre), continue walking for about 50 metres along Regent Terrace until you come to a road on your left called Carlton Terrace Lane. Walk along Carlton Terrace Lane for about 150 metres until you reach Royal Terrace. Turn left along Royal Terrace and after about 300 metres you reach the Ukrainian Community Centre at 14 Royal Terrace