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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


218 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Fountainbridge. tional cemetery, a little to the south, beyond Ardmillan Terrace, near the new Magdalene Asylum, a lofty, spacious, and imposing edifice, recently erected in lieu of the old one, established in 1797. Adjoining it is the Girls? House of Refuge, or Western Reformatory, another noble and humane institution, the directors of which are the Lord Provost and magistrates of the city. These edifices stand near the ancient toll of Tynecastle, and may be considered the termination of the city as yet, in this direction. On removing an old cottage close by this toll, in April, 1843, the remains of a human skeleton were found buried close to the wall. The skull had been perforated by a bullet, and in the plas tered wall of the edifice a bullet was found flattened against the stone. On the western side of the Dalry Road, about 500 yards from the ancient mansion house, is the Caledonian Distillery, one of the most extensive in Scotland, and one of those which produce ? grain whisky,? as some make malt whisky only. It was built in 1855, covers five acres of ground, and occupies a situation most convenient for carrying on a great trade. In every part it has been constructed with all the most recent improvements by its proprietors, the Messrs. Menzies, Bernard, and Co. All the principal buildings are five storeys in height, and so designed that the labour of carrying the materials through the various stages of manufacture is reduced to the smallest amount, while branch lines from the Caledonian and North British Railways converge in the centre of the works, thus affording the ready means of bringing in raw material and sending out products. The extent of the traffic here may be judged from the facts that 2,ooo quarters of grain and ZOO tons of coal are used every week, while the quantity of spirits sent out in the same time is 40,000 gallons, the duty on which is ~zo,ooo, or at the rate of ~1,040,000 a year. The machinery is propelled by five steam-engines, varying from 5 to 150 horse-power, for the service of which, and supplying the steam used in distillation, there are nine large steam boilers. The Caledonian distillery contains the greatest still in Scotland. In order to meet a growing demand for the variety of whisky known as ? Irish,? the proprietors of the Caledonian distillery, about 1867 fitted up two large stills of an old pattern, with which they manufacture whisky precisely similar to that which is made in Dublin. In connection with this branch of their business, stores capable of containing as many as 5,000 puncheons were added to their works at Dalry, and in these various kinds of whisky have been permitted to lie for some time before being sent Fountainbridge, a long and straggling suburb, once among fields and gardens, at the close of the last century and the beginning of the present contained several old-fashioned villas with pleasuregrounds, and was bordered on its northern side by a wooded residence, the Grove, which still gives a name to the streets in the locality. Some of the houses at its southern end, near the present Brandfield Place, were old as the time of William 111. In the garden of one of them an antique iron helmet, now in the Antiquarian Museum, was dug up in 1781. In one of them lived and died, in 1767, Lady Margaret Leslie, third daughter of John Earl of Rothes, Lord High Admiral of Scotland on the accession of George I. in 1714. A narrow alley near its northern end still bears the name of the Thorneybank, i.e., a ridge covered with thorns, long unploughed and untouched. In its vicinity is Earl Grey Street, a name substituted for its old one of Wellington after the passing of the great Reform Bill, by order oi the Town Council. This quarter abuts on Lochrin, ?the place where the water from the meadows (i.e. the burgh loch) discharges itself,? says Kincaid, but ?rhinn? means a flat place in Celtic in some instances ; and near it is another place with the Celtic name of Drumdryan. George Joseph Bell, Professor of Scottish Law in the University of Edinburgh, was born in Fountainbridge on the 26th March, 1770. A distinguished legal writer, he was author of ?? Commentaries on the Law of Scotland,? ? Principles of the Law,? for the use of his students, and other works, and held the chair of law from 1822 to 1843, when he was succeeded by Mr. John Shankmore. Among the leading features in this locality are the extensive city slaughter-houses, which extend from the street eastward to Lochrin, having a plain yet handsome and massive entrance, in the Egyptian style, adorned with great bulls? heads carved in freestone in the coving of the entablature. These were designed by Mr. David Cousin, who brought to bear upon them the result of his observations made in the most famous abattoirs of Pans, such as du Roule, de Montmartre, and de Popincourt. In 1791 there died in Edinburgh John Strachan, x flesh-caddie, in his 105th year. ?? He recollected,?? jays the Scots Magazim, ?the time when no DUL
Volume 4 Page 218
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