The History of Leith

April 1, 2005

The Strange House of Major Weir

Major Weir Land from a drawing by Thomas Hamilton 1830
Discoveries made in the course of its demolition added to the mystery concerning it. In the stair leading from the court to the hall there was a quaint holy-water font; and in clearing out the interior, it was found that the ceiling had at one time been beautifully painted with flowers and geometric designs. In the great open chimney-place of the hall there were, singularly enough, two small windows; and in the heart of the massive walls were found secret stairs that led from the hall to rooms above it. In addition to these secret passages, the walls disclosed four recesses that had been laced with stone, and which concealed the relics of more than one crime or mystery that will never he unravelled.
One held the skeleton of a child, with its cap and part of its dress; and in the other there were quantities of human bones. In a built-up cupboard a large vertebral bone of a whale was discovered. “The beams of the hall,’ says the Scotsman of 8th February, 1878, “and indeed of the whole house, were of oak, which, according to tradition, was grown on the Burghmuir, and, with the exception of the ends which had been built into the wall, the wood was found to be perfectly sound and beautifully grained.”
Source-Old and New Edinburgh

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