The History of Leith

March 9, 2013

Water Lane

The ancient street named Water Lane, with
all its adjacent alleys, is not included in this scheme
of removal and, improvement. It runs tortuously,
at an angle, from the foot of the Kirkgate to
Bernard Street, and is about seven hundred yards
in length. This thoroughfare was anciently called
the Rotten Row ; and in the map given by Robertson
in his ” Antiquities,” that name is borne by an
alley near the foot of it, running parallel with
Chapel Lane.
In the inventory of ” Pious Donations ” made to
the Brethren Predicators in Edinburgh, under date
I4th May, 1473, is one by ” John Sudgine, of
303. 4d. out of his tenement of Leith on the south
side of the water thereof, between Alan Nepar’s
land on the east, and Rotten Row on the west.”
Alan Napier’s land, ” on the east side of the
common vennel called the Ratounrow” is referred
to in King James III.’s charter to the Black Friars,
under the same date. (” Burgh Charters,” No.
43.) It was so named from being built of houses
of ratiins, or rough timber.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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