Saturday 21 April 2012: Leith #7 - Trinity House
I was not feeling great this morning due to drinking a bit too much last night (I don't expect sympathy, by the way. Self inflicted!). By the time I managed to leave the flat to take my picture, it was raining, but the fresh air cleared my head and I'm feeling much better now.
Trinity House is the headquarters of the Incorporation of Masters and Mariners and has been a focus for the seafaring community in the Port of Leith for centuries. The Fraternity of Masters and Mariners was there to support the welfare of those who went to sea. Merchant sailors were among Trinity House's chief beneficiaries. Life for early sailors was not easy because they didn't have sophisticated navigational equipment and the waters and coastlines were largely uncharted. Shipwreck, disease and malnutrition were common hazards and many seamen lost their lives. Their families turned to the Incorporation for help.
By 1811, the old almshouse or hospital, which was built in the 1550s and stood for over 250 years, was becoming increasingly unstable, and the Masters decided to replace it with a new building suitable to carry out their business and to keep their possessions and papers safe. The new building was founded in 1816. A bottle was buried with the foundation stone which included a list of the 104 members of the Society, copies of some of the Incorporation's documents and an Almanac of 1816. The vaults are the only part of the almshouse structure which remained.
In 2001 Historic Scotland became owners of Trinity House, which is now a museum where you can find stories of the captains and memories of their voyages and contains many treasures of Leith's seafaring past.
I've got some work to do now and this evening will be a quiet one. The pirate night was a lot of fun but I think I drank a bit too much! Ooops! (But that's what pirates do, I suppose... hahaha!)
Thanks very much for all your nice comments. I hope you're all having a great weekend! :)