The History of Leith

March 27, 2012

All-hallow fair be held on the lands of Calton Hill

A kind of round tower, or the basement thereof,
is shown above the south-west angle of the Calton
cliffs in Gordon’s view in 1647 ; but of any such
edifice no record remains ; and in the hollow where
Nottingham Place lies now, a group of five isolated
houses, called ” Mud Island,” appears in the maps
of 1787 and 1798. In 1796, and at many other
times, the magistrates ordained that ” All-hallow
fair be held on the lands of Calton Hill,” as an
open and unenclosed place, certainly a perilous one,
for tipsy drovers and obstinate cattle. An agriculturist
named Smith farmed the hill and lands
adjacent, now covered by great masses of building,
for several years, till about the close of the i8th
century; and his son, Dr. John Smith, who was
born in 1798, died only in February, 1879, after
being fifty years physician to the old charity workhouse
in Forrest Road.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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