The History of Leith

September 26, 2008

Grassmarket Archaeology talk

One of the benefits of the Grassmarket work going on now is finding out more about the history of the area – and you should see some of the things we’ve dug up!

Come see the artefacts found in the Grassmarket first-hand, and hear more details about our exciting finds from John Lawson, the Council’s archaeologist, and James McMeeken of Headland Archaeology, on Thursday, 25 September at 7pm at The Lot.

What we’ve unearthed so far
A substantial section of the early 16th century Flodden Wall was found this summer outside the Lot in the Grassmarket.

The section is over five metres long and over one metre wide. The wall was hurriedly built to protect the city after the battle of Flodden.

We have also unearthed further evidence of the Corn Exchange, a possibly Medieval road and fragments under Victoria Street, as well as finding more Medieval artefacts.

The most recent discovery is the upper part of a medieval shoe (1100 to 1400 AD). We are now having the shoe conserved – as you can imagine, it’s not in the best of shape!

Archaeologists also believe they have found a few more features dating back to the same time as the thrilling find this spring, when we unearthed cereal grains that were tested and found to date back to the Middle Bronze Age, or around 1500 to 1300 B.C. That’s more than 2500 years earlier than anything previously excavated in the Grassmarket.


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