The modern district of Bruntsfield lies east of Bruntsfield Links park and golf link, beyond which lies the district of Marchmont; Merchiston is to the west and Tollcross to the north. To the south and east lies the former estate of Greenhill, and to the south Morningside. The estate around the grand Bruntsfield House is now called Marchmont (which the Warrender family began feuing in 1872, many of the street names reflecting associations with that family). The whole area lay within the Burgh Muir of Edinburgh, from which a former farm Burghmuirhead took its name which passed eventually to a small area within Bruntsfield. The Burgh Muir stretched all the way through the valley of the Jordan Burn to the slopes of the Pentland Hills. The junction beyond Burghmuirhead on the road to Morningside became known in the twentieth century as Holy Corner from its cluster of Victorian churches.
Bruntsfield Links is home to a nineteenth century pitch and putt golf course. The links continue north east to Melville Drive where it meets The Meadows, a park formed when the old Burgh Loch was drained. At the southern end of the links, near Bruntsfield House, a distinct indentation formed by a former quarry is known locally as Tumbler’s Hollow.
The original name for the area had been “Brounysfelde” or Brown’s Fields, after an early feuar. A note in appendix 2 (number 1878) of the Great Seal of Scotland, 1306–1424, records a 1381 charter from the reign of Robert II which grants to William Lauder the lands of “Burrowmure in Edinburghshire”, which had previously belonged to Richard Broun of Boroumore (sic). He was the elder brother of Alan de Lawedre of the Haltoun House family, and in a further charter of the Great Seal of June 4, 1382, Alan succeeded his brother [“fratrem dicti Alani”] William de Lawedre in the lands of “Boroughmuir”. It appears from subsequent charters that the Lauders acquired “Bruntisfield” at about the same time, unless it was all part and parcel of the 1381 acquisition. Sir Alexander Lauder of Blyth, Provost of Edinburgh, acquired from his father, Sir Alexander Lauder of Haltoun, Knt., in August 1497 “the lands of Brounisfeld, with the manor-house and gardens, park, herbarium, etc., except for one perticate of land at the east end, adjoining the ditch therefo, in the common muir of Edinburgh.”