The History of Leith

June 23, 2011

Landmarks within the Canongate Parish-3

RADICAL ROAD: ‘Round and round the radical road, the radical rascals ran.’ A road made in 1816 by unemployed artisans along the foot of Salisbury Crags.

THE SAILOR’S ARK: Erected from the endowment of an old sea captain to provide inexpensive meals for people in the district.

ST ANTHONY’S CHAPEL: Built c. 1473 by James IV. Here James occasionally worshipped.

ST JOHN STREET: Begun in 1768. At No. 10 the Waverley Novels were first read by Sir Walter Scott. Burns was a frequent guest at No. 15 (Lord Monboddo’s). Smollett also stayed in this street with his sister, Mrs Telfer. No. 3 was the Canongate manse from 1816 to 1938.

ST MARGARET’S CHAPEL: The oldest building in Edinburgh, and probably in Scotland, built for Margaret, the Queen of Malcolm III of Scotland. St Margaret’s Chapel Guild, started in 1942 by Lady Russell, provides flowers etc. for the Chapel; H.R.H. The Princess Margaret is Patron.

SALISBURY CRAGS: The cliffs or crags, of igneous rock, until the great Ice Age were twice as high as now. May be named from the Latin for willow, Salix solids (c.f. Willowbrae).

SHOEMAKER’S LAND: 1677: meeting hall of Cordiners or Shoemakers, showing their coat of arms, the crown of St Crispin, shoemaker’s awl, Bible open at Psalm 133, verse i.

TOLBOOTH: Built in 1591. First a Council Chamber, then a prison till 1848: Between 1661 and 1688 chiefly used for Covenanter prisoners; now a museum and small hall.

THE WELLS o’ WEARIE: Made famous by the old Scottish song: situated in Queen’s Park between ‘Samson’s Ribs’ and the shepherd’s cottage, removed when the road was made.

WHITEFOORD HOUSE: Site of ‘My Lord Seyton’s Lodging’ (see Scott’s Abbot}; now the Scottish Naval and Military Veteran’s Residence.

source-The Kirk in the Canongate

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