The History of Leith

December 8, 2012

Leith sold

The mills gifted to Edinburgh along with the harbour,
though frequently spoken of in later years as
” Leith Mils,” are not so designated in Robert the
Bruce’s charter. Leith Mills belonged, as we have
already seen, to the lairds of Restalrig. Where Edinburgh’s
mills were situated is not known. With the
harbour they were the earliest of the city’s possessions
in Leith. This royal grant did not confer any right to
the use of the banks of the river, and disputes arose
with Sir Robert Logan, the proprietor, which were only
settled by the Edinburgh authorities paying him a large
sum of money for the banks, with liberty to erect wharves
and quays thereon, and to make roads through the lands
©f Restalrig for the transport of goods and merchandise
to and from the city. Their main highway became the
Easter Road of later days, while the abbot and canons
of Holyrood had their own approach to Leith by way
of Broughton Loan and the Bonnington or Western
Road, which passed through their own lands all the
way to the ford and ferry across the water to North
In 1414 Edinburgh made another bargain with Sir
Robert Logan, and obtained a charter from him by
which he granted to the city all the land along the river
bank from the abbot’s lands of St. Leonards, now the
Coalhill, to the mouth of the river, which^was then
where the Broad Wynd is now, while the waste land
beyond that point, in some way unknown to us today,
belonged to Holyrood Abbey. Up to this time the
only means of access to the harbour which Logan allowed
the Edinburgh burgesses was by the narrow yet quaintly
picturesque Burgess Close, now widened into a street,
utterly wanting in the old-world charm that graced its
ancient predecessor.

source-The Story of Leith

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