The Wauchope family owned the majority of the area up to the 1930s, The family home Niddrie Marischal House was immediately west of the present day Jack Kane Centre sports complex in Hunters Hall Park. The Wauchopes eventually donated their lands to the city.
Immediately adjacent to the Barony of Craigmillar and part of Edinburgh City's political ward Craigmillar/Portobello, it was also the home of The Craigmillar Festival Society, a well regarded and internationally renowned community arts organisation, founded by local mother and "Woman Of Achievement" Helen Crummy.
The placename is believed to be of Brythonic origin, "nuada tref" meaning "new settlement". Although in an 1987 Craigmillar Festival Society Community drama production called "Dampbusters" a show about poor housing in the community at that time, it was jokingly referred to as meaning "never dry", a dubious and bogus translation from the "Old Scots" vernacular.
In the eighties, the Niddrie estate was one of the most drug-riddled communities in Scotland and still has problems with heroin use today. Nearby Greendykes was ranked as the 4th most deprived area in Scotland in the recent multiple deprivation index 2006.
Today, Niddrie is being transformed beyond all recognition, The land which occupied most of the social housing in the community has now been re-allocated as land for private housing and the majority of the new housing being built in the area in the immediate future will be mostly for newcomers who can afford to live there and not the indigenous population who can trace their roots in the community.
Social housing was built in Niddrie by the Edinburgh Corporation as a social experiment linked to slum clearance in the old town of Edinburgh in the 1930s, Families from these cleared areas were housed together with local coal mining families from Niddrie. The first streets were mostly full of poor families with no local facilities whatsoever and the attitude towards Niddrie from the rest of Edinburgh was predictable and generally hostile and that continues up to the present day.