The History of Leith

November 20, 2008

The West Bow

(c) John Arthur

From its position at the west end of the town. Name dates from the days of David II, Gordon. Edgar. Ainslie. Jamieson gives “Bow, the curve or bending of a street”, instancing the West-bow Street as given by Maitland. This, however, would not suit the Netherbow, which is more suggestive of Jamieson’s “Bow, an arch, a gateway”, This is the derivation given in trad, p.48, viz. the arch or bow forming the gateway in the “West-bow”. The port of the West Bow was considered to be a public nuisance whose removal would widen the passage about a yard; it is to be taken down tomorrow morning early, m.t.c. 11/6/1735.

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