History of Leith, Edinburgh

Archive for 2004

Shops, Businesses, Services and Characters from the Past

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

Shops, Businesses, Services and Characters from the Past

Who can forget the little shops from your area that were run by characters?

for more go to the link on the rhs

19th Century leith Libraries and News Rooms

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

24 Kirkgate 1848-49
13 Tolbooth Wynd 1850-66
58 Tolbooth Wynd 1867-77
Edin Dir

51 Tolbooth Wynd 1850-55
Edin Dir (more…)

MLN Testaments

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

The Edinburgh Commissariot Court confirmed Testaments (Wills) for the counties of Midlothian (MLN), East Lothian (ELN), West Lothian (WLN) parts of Peebleshire (PEE), parts of Stirlingshire (STI) & Scots who died abroad. (more…)

St Ninian’s Manse

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

Quayside Street, off Sandport Place, Leith, Edinburgh

The work which Simpson & Brown undertook at St Ninian’s Manse demonstrates the way in which minimum repairs and alterations can provide a sustainable new use.

St Ninian’s Manse played a vital role in the development pattern and identity of Leith because it stood at the head of the first bridge to North Leith and makes its first religious foundation

Demolition reveals home of eccentric evolutionary

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

THE remains of a house occupied by one of Edinburgh’s most respected 18th-century judges and the pioneer of evolutionary theory have been uncovered by archaeologists amid the demolition of Old Town vaults.

Experts believe the home – one of many buried for more than a century underneath the Waverley Station car park in New Street – was that of the eccentric Lord Monboddo. (more…)

Remains of ancient wall found at city site

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

Key points
• Medieval structure found on building site
• May have been built by James II in 1450
• Mansion excavated on same site in May

Key quote
“It was a defence for war and the plague. When there was a plague, they would lock the gates and not let anyone in or out. The Cowgate was never developed as a street until the late 14th century” – Russel Coleman, Headland Archaeology project manager

Story in full THE remains of a medieval wall built to guard the city have been discovered on a building site. (more…)

Headland Archaeology

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

Giles St-Leith-Edinburgh

An enormous area (three thousand five hundred square metres) of the historic core of Leith is being excavated by Headland Archaeology on behalf of Barratt East Scotland. (more…)

The Leith Axe

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

The Leith Axe which was first recorded in 1521 was described as a long shafted weapon with a two edged axe blade and a hook projecting from the end of the shaft. It was similiar to the French halberd and was apparently made in Leith and use in the first half of the sixteenth century

from “Leith at Random” by David Valentine and can be purchased through this site.

The British Pathe archive

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

The British Pathe archive is perhaps the world’s most famous newsreel collection. Spanning the period 1896-1970, the collection comprises 3,500 hours and contains some of the most iconic images ever caught on camera. The entire archive has been remastered and fully digitised. It is now possible to view every second of this outstanding collection online through this web site and there is absolutely no charge for this facility.

for more go to the link on the rhs

Final act after decades of drama

Monday, December 6th, 2004

It has survived bombs and played host to celebrities and locals. But the end looms for Leith Theatre, as the city plans to sell the site.


BUILT in 1929, the B-listed Leith Theatre sits proudly alongside Leith Library. The grand and imposing building, which was opened to commemorate the joining of Leith to the city of Edinburgh, had been a centre for entertainment, housing countless shows – local and national – throughout its history.

It attracted performers such as 1950s heart-throb Frankie Vaughan and Rod Stewart during its heyday, and became a popular venue for the International Festival Fringe. The Queen Mother visited and former prime ministers Edward Heath and Jim Callaghan delivered speeches there.

During the Second World War, a parachuted mine caused extensive damage, particularly to the north side, and all the windows were blown out.

One set of renovation was complete in June 1952, with more restorations beginning in 1959. The whole complex was reopened in 1961.

However, after 54 years, the famous performance venue closed in 1983, and subsequently fell into disrepair, being used as storage space and not as the entertainment venue it was designed for.

Now, despite a campaign to revive Leith Theatre as a multi-arts venue once again, the building is due to be sold to rescue the cash-strapped King’s Theatre.

But, for many people, the Leith Theatre evokes fond memories.

Local historian John Arthur, an expert on the theatre, says the venue was the people’s theatre and it will be sadly missed. (more…)

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