The History of Leith

July 20, 2012


CORSTORPHINE, with its hill, village, and ancient
church, is one of the most interesting districts of
Edinburgh, to which it is now nearly joined by lines
of villas and gas lamps. Anciently it was called
Crosstorphyn, and the name has proved a puzzle to
antiquarians, who have had some strange theories
on the subject of its origin.
By some it is thought to have obtained its name
from the circumstance of a golden cross—Croix
/, “the
Fingalians.” (” Old Stat. Account.”) The name
might thus signify, ” the hollow with the white
steps;” or, the ” Glen of Fingalian steps.” And
by some it has been asserted that the original name
was Curia Storphinonim, from a cohort of Roman
soldiers called the Storphini having been stationed
here. But George Chalmers, with much more
probability than any, deduces the name from the
” Cross of Torphin.”
” Torphin’s Cross, from whence its name is
derived,” says Wilson in his ” Reminiscences,”
” doubtless stood there in some old century to
mark the last resting-place of a rough son of Thor.”
Tradition has it
that the builder of
the cross was Torphin,
an Archdeacon
of Lothian.
torphin* Hill is
the name of one
of the lower heads
of the Pentlands

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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