The History of Leith

July 6, 2011

The Virgin Mary Kirk in Leith

A chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, patroness of the town and port, and situated in South Leith, preceded by more than a century the origin of the present edifice, and was enriched by many donations and annuities for the support within it of altars and chaplainries dedicated to St, Peter, St. Barbara, St. Bartholomew, and others. The destruction of ecclesiastical records at the Reformation involves the date of the foundation of the present church in utter obscurity. It can only be surmised that it was erected towards the close of the fourteenth century; but notwithstanding its large size—what remains now being merely a small portion of the original edifice—the name of its founder is utterly unknown. The earliest notice of it occurs in 1490, when a contribution of an annual rent is made by Peter Falconer in Leith to the chaplain of St. Peter’s altar, ” situat in the Virgin Mary Kirk in Leith.” The latest of similar grants was made on the 8th July, 1499.

Source-Old and New Edinburgh

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