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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. V


The Sciennu.1 CRAIGMILLAR ASYLUM. SI former, but he could not take it down without pur chasing the latter also. The garden is supposed to have extended as far back as the Dalkeith Road before Minto Street was made. Summerhall, in the Sciennes quarter, has long been noted for its brewery. In the dreadful storm of wind which visited Edinburgh in 1733, we are told in the Suts Muguzine for that year, that the ashes from several chimneys set some houses on fire, among others that of Mr. Bryson the brewer at Summerhall, and destroyed it, with zoo bolls of grain. Clerk Street Chapel was among the many new churches that have sprung up in this district, where we now find quite a cluster of them. The foundation-stone of the former was laid in 1823 ; it was to be a chapel of ease for St. Cuthbert?s parish, to contain 1,700 persons, and be named ?Hope Park Chapel.? The steeple is about 116 feet in height. Newington Free Church, on the east side of the street, about ohe hundred and twenty yards farther south, is a spacious building, erected in 1843, and enlarged afterwards with a neat Gothic front. Hope Park United Presbyterian Church is one hundred and fifty yards south-west of the latter, and was erected in 1867, in lieu of a relinquished church in the Potterrow ; and Hope Park Congregational Church was erected in 1876, at a cost of L6,300, in the French Romanesque style. St. Peter?s Episcopal Church, with a lofty square spire, stands in Lutton Place, about one hundred and forty yards south-east of Newington Free Church. . In No. 26 South Clerk Street is the Edinburgh Literary Institute, built in 1870, and improved five years subsequently. It contains a large hall for lectures and concerts, and has a reading-room, library, and several class-rooms. It is managed by a president and twenty-four directors, with finance, lecture, and library committees. The library contains considerably over zo,ooo volumes, and in the news and reading rooms are to be found the whole serial literature of the day. The Mayfield Loan, a continuation of the Grange Loan, intersects Newington from east to west. During the last century there were but two small manor-houses here, known respectively as East and West Mayfield Houses. The latter was only swept away a few years ago, after being long a wayside inn, when Mayfield Street was formed. In the West Loan we find Mayfield Free Church and Hall, in the early Gothic style, opened about the end of 1876, and designed to become a large cruciform edifice, with a steeple 150 feet high. A little way south of this was the hamlet of the Summerhall is a brewery still. Powburn, once a favourite summer residence for citizens. It gave the title of baronet to a Sir James Keith in 1663; the title is now extinct. But a hundred years afterwards we find advertised as to let ?The Powburn House, pleasantly situated a little from the Grangegate Toll Bar, with coach-house and four-stalled stable,? &c (Edinburgh Advertiser, Vol. I.) Here has now been erected on rising ground the West Craigmillar Asylum for Blind Females, one of the many noble charities which do such honour to Edinburgh. It stands amid an ornamental plot of four acres; was founded in April, 1874, and completed three years afterwards, at a cost of L13,ooo. It consists of a main body and wings in a light French style of architecture. The front elevation is 160 feet long; the main block is three storeys high, with a porticoed entrance, and is surmounted by a clock-tower 80 feet in height. Each wing has a French roof, designed in a manner to enhance the appearance of this tower. The reception-hall is circular, with a diameter of I I I feet ; there are two work-rooms, each 72 feet by 20 ; adining-hall, 115 feet long, with a roof about 24 feet high of open timber work. This noble edifice has superseded both the asylum for blind female adults in Nicolson Street, and that for blind female children in Gayfield Square, and accomniodates 150 inmates. Newington consists almost entirely of lines of handsome villas, bordering spacious thoroughfares, and contains the houses in which the Rev. Dr. Thomas hlcCrie, the Rev. Dr. John Brown, and the Rev. Dr. William Cunningham, lived and died. House property, principally in villas, throughout the southern suburbs eastward of the Burghmuirhead, was erected in the few years ending 1877, to the value of A1,358,550. Mayfield Established Church was at firs?t only a temporary iron erection, facing Craigmillar Park, but in 1877 was superseded by a stone structure which cost about L5,ooo. The most ancient edifices that stood in the Newington district of Edinburgh were the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, on the eastern verge of the Burghmuir, and the Convent of St. Katharine of Scienna, which gave its name to the suburb now named the Sciennes. The former was long a solitary chaplaincy, founded and endowed, towards the close of the reign of James IV., by Sir John Crawford, a canon of St. Giles?s Church ; ?? and portions of the ruins,? says Wlson, ?are believed still to form part of the garden wall of a hocse on the west side of Newington, called Sciennes Hall.? There a species
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52 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [The Sciennes. of hermit, or chaplain, resided ; and the charter of foundation mentions that he was to be clothed ?? in a white garment, having on his breast a portraiture of St. John the Baptist.? In the ?? Inventory of Pious Donations,? under date 2nd of March, 1511, there is found a ?charter of confirmation of a mortification by Sir John Crawford, one of the prebends of St. Giles?s Kirk, to a kirk built by him at St. Giellie Grange, mortifying thereunto 18 acres of land, with the.Quany Land Soon after the erection of this chapel the convent of St. Katharine was founded near it, by Janet Lady Seton, whose husband George, third Lord Seton, was slain at the battle of Flodden, where also fell his brother Adam, second Earl of Bothwell, grandfather of James, fourth Earl of Bothwell, and Duke of Orkney. After that fatal day she remained a widow for forty-five years, says the ?History of the House of Seytoun ?-for nearly half a century, according BROADSTAIRS HOUSE, CAUSEWAYSIDE, 1880. (Fronr a Pa?ntinx ay-G. M. AiRman.) given to him in charity by the said Burgh, with an acre and a quarter of a particate of land in his three acres and a half of the said Muir pertaining to him, lying at the east side of the common muir, betwixt the lands of John Cant on the west, and the common muir on the east and south parts, and the Mureburgh now built on the north.? This solitary little chapel was intended to be a charity for the benefit of the souls of the founder, his kindred, the reigning sovereign, the magistrates of Edinburgh, ?? and such others as it was usual to include in the services for the faithful departed in similar foundations.? The chaplain was required to be of the foundeis name and family, and after his death the patronage rested with the Town Council. to the ?? Eglinton Peerage ?-and was celebrated for her ? exalted and matronly conduct, which drew around her, at her well-known residence at the Sciennes, all the female branches of the nobility.? In 1516 a notarial instrument on behalf of the sisters and Josina Henrison at their head, refemng to the foundation and mortification of St. John?s Kirk, on the Burgh Muir, is preserved among the ?? Burgh Records.? The convent was founded for Dominicans, and amid the gross corruption that prevailed at the Reformation, so blameless and innocent were the lives of these ladies that they were excepted from the general denunciation by the great satirist of the time, Sir David Lindsay, who, in his satire of the
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