A small adventure to Leith

It was Doors Open Day (or weekend) in Edinburgh last week, so when I got back from the south I had a small adventure to Leith. (Whenever I go to Leith I think that I should go back and explore it more, but I never do go there unless I have a reason, and I never seem to have a reason.)

The first place I wanted to go to was Trinity House – since I’ve been quite often to the Newcastle one. It’s a lovely Georgian building (1816), and they have a small nautical museum upstairs, but it was mainly too recent for me – WW1 rather than Napoleonic!

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Here’s one of the AoS things: Admiral Duncan overseeing everything!

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On the other side of the road is South Leith Parish Church – it’s interesting that the road they stand on is now a small pedestrian one, but must have been the main road once.

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The next place I went to was the old Customs House – another beautiful Georgian building (1812), but basically standing empty while they decide what to do with it.
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Its site is another interesting look at how the shape of Leith has changed – when it was first built, there would have been nothing between it and the sea except the first new docks, now filled in – the site is roughly between the wet dock and the ‘h’ of harbour on the map below.

Plan of Leith showing the French fortifications of 1560

There’s more about the construction of Leith Docks at the Georgian Edinburgh blog – it’s interesting to see how the harbour developed.

Leith has obviously been very important to Scottish history, but it doesn’t seem to come into AoS stories – real or fictional – very much. Can anyone think of any examples?

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