The History of Leith

March 15, 2013

The oldest houses in the Kirkgate

The oldest houses in the Kirkgate

Wilson’s view of one of
the oldest houses in the Kirkgate, which was only
taken down in 1845. The doorway was moulded;
on the frieze was boldly cut in old English letters
31I)J6nS ^Itaria, and above was a finely-moulded
Gothic niche, protected by a sloping water-table. A
stone gurgoyle projected from the upper storey.
Local tradition asserted that the edifice was a chapel
built by Mary of Lorraine ; but of this there is no
evidence. In the niche, no doubt, stood an image,
which would be destroyed at the Reformation.
Above the niche there was a small square aperture,
in which it was customary, as is the case now in
Continental towns, to place a light after nightfall,
in order that passers-by might see the shrine and
make obeisance to it.

source-Old and New Edinburgh?

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