The History of Leith

January 4, 2012

A Mansion on the Castle Hill

On the pediment of a dormer window of the house that now forms the south-west angle of the street, directly facing the Castle, and overlooking the steep flight of steps that descend to Johnston
Terrace, we find a date 1630, with the initials A. M.—M. N., and in the wall below there still remains a cannon ball, fired from the half-moon during the blockade in 1745. Through this building
there is a narrow alley named Blair’s Close—so narrow indeed, that amid the brightest sunshine there is never in it more than twilight—giving access to an open court, at the first angle of which is a handsome Gothic doorway, surmounted by an ogee arch, within which, is a large coronet, supported by two deerhounds, well known features in the Gordon arms. Local tradition universally affirms this mansion to have been the residence of the dukes of that title, which was bestowed on the house.

Source-Old and New Edinburgh

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