The History of Leith

March 26, 2011

The Water’s Close as described in 1870

Water’s Close, which adjoins, has several attractive features in a picturesque sense, and repulsive ones in its modern squalor. Tenements of itone and timber, and of great antiquity, are mingUd together in singular disorder; and one venerable tenement of hewn ashlar exhibits a broad projecting turnpike, with various corbellings, a half-circular turret, crowstepped gables, and massive chimneys, with ” every variety of convenient aberration from the perpendicular or horizontal which the taste or whim of its constructor could devise, and is one of the most singular edifices that the artist could
select as a subject for his pencil.”
Five low and square-headed doorways of great breadth show that the whole of the lower storey had been constructed as a warehouse. This edifice, with its vaults, is advertised as for sale in The Edinburgh advertiser of 1789, and is described as being in “Willie Water’s Close, Leith,”
Its vaults are stated to be of stone, and ” the whole length and breadth of the subject completely catacombed.”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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