The History of Leith

May 13, 2011

Pews and Altar’s at South Leith

From just before the days of Cromwell, as we have already seen, pews began to be placed in the church, and this was done in a way that is highly interesting and instructive. Each trade incorporation had its pews placed just where the guild altar had been situated in olderi days, and round which its members had worshipped.
Their galleries and pews were adorned with the heraldic emblems of the craft. Some of these have been restored in recent years, and show us how the sittings in the church were apportioned among the various incorporations. The gallery or loft of the Trinity House was at the east end of the church, while that of the maltmen was at the west end and now forms the choir and organ loft. On the floor beneath this gallery some tombs of the maltmen’s incorporation have escaped the destroying hand of the so-called church restorer.
The north side of the nave was occupied chiefly by the hammermen, shoemakers, and porters, while the south side was given up to the merchants and traffickers.

Source-The Story of Leith

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