The History of Leith

January 22, 2012

The houses that belonged to the Knights of the Temple

By Victoria Terrace, replaced in one part by a flight of stairs, in another by the Free Church of St. John, and sloping away eastward into Victoria Street, it is impossible to realise what the old West Bow, which served as a connecting link between the High and the Low Town, the Lawnmarket and the Grassmarket, really was. The pencil of the artist alone may reproduce its features.
At its lower end were the houses that belonged to the Knights of the Temple, whereon, to mark them as beyond the reach of corporation enactments, the iron cross of St. John was placed so
lately as the eighteenth century, by the Bailie of Lord Torphichen, as proprietor of the lands of St. John of Jerusalem ; and there flows, as of old, the Bowfoot Well, built by Robert Mylne in 1681, just where it is shown in Edgar’s map of the city when the Bow was then, as it had been centuries before, the principal entrance to the city from the west.

Old and New Edinburgh

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