Well Court was commissioned in the 1880’s by Sir John Findlay, who was then the owner of The Scotsman newspaper. His house at 3 Rothesay Terrace overlooked the Dean Village and he could see the dilapidated state of the tenements down below. He bought the land, had the slum dwellings cleared away and commissioned the Edinburgh architect, Sydney
Mitchell to design social housing for artisans and tradesmen from the Dean Village. The development included a community hall that was originally utilised for reading and recreation.