Sunday 15 April 2012: Leith #1 - "Welcome to Leith"
I have decided to start my new series today because, I'm officially on holiday from this evening! Yay!
Leith hasn't had the best of reputations as an area, I have to say; however it has increasingly become more popular with the opening of new bars, shops and restaurants over the last few years.
This is Pilrig St Paul's Church, which is located along Leith Walk at the point were Leith starts. You can see the sign saying 'Welcome to Leith'. This church dates from 1861.
Leith used to be an entirely separate town from Edinburgh, and it played a prominent role in Scottish History. It was separated between South Leith, a larger town based on trade, and North Leith, a smaller but proportionally richer town, both of which came under different jurisdictions. It was the major port serving Edinburgh.
In the 17th century, a defensible rampart was constructed between Calton Hill and Leith to defend the northern approach to Edinburgh against Oliver Cromwell's forces in 1650. This rampart eventually became the line of Edinburgh's longest street, Leith Walk.
Leith and Edinburgh progressively became a contiguous urban area and finally merged in 1920.
There is a pub in Leith walk, at this height of the Walk, where Leith starts, called City Limits, formerly called the Boundary Bar. Until 1920 it was half in Edinburgh and half in Leith and had different licensing rules in each side. The Edinburgh side (the larger one) was able to open later, because towns with a population of over 50,000 people had that privilege. So, at a given time at the end of the evening, a bell rang and everybody squeezed into the Edinburgh side!
In my theme I'll try and show you a few interesting parts of Leith. It might not be one of the nicest areas of Edinburgh but is definitely one of the most interesting ones, and I love it!
Quiet day at work today and I'm glad now that I'll be on holiday for a full week!
Thanks very much for all your comments! I hope you all had a good weekend! :)