Hailes quarry was active from 1750 to the 1920s and at its peak employed 150 men. Hailes sandstone shows banded layers and splits easily; this kind of quality made it a perfect material for Edinburgh's New Town buildings. In the north of the New Town many tenements have ground floors above pavement level. Their main door and common stair is entered across an arched bridge carrying a stone platform and steps. Many of these slabs and steps came from Hailes Quarry.
Hailes Quarry Park hides its history well. Looking round the trees and grassland its hard to imagine that it had once been a 100m deep quarry or one of the cities landfill sites. A local workforce from Wester Hailes Community Enterprises did much of the pathwork and landscaping, including the towpath of the canal.