The History of Leith

June 30, 2012

Early Days of Pilrig House

Whilst no one can be certain, it is possible that the derivation of the name arose from Peel on the Rig, as it is more than likely that a Peel Tower stood on the ridge. What is certain is that, in 1584, the property belonged to Sir Patrick Monypenny and that Gilbert Kirkwood bought the property in 1623 and built the present house in1638 for his bride Margaret Foulis of Colinton. Gilbert Kirkwood was a Goldsmith in Edinburgh and also owned Kinleith Mill at Colinton where his grandfather was the local Blacksmith. A stone with the initials GK and MF with the date 1638 has been found and is incorporated in the dormer pediment with the Fleur de Lys facing you, as you walk to the stair entrance. The house, on Gilbert’s death, then passed through several hands before being bought by James Balfour in 1718.

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