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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


THE FIRST THOROUGHFARE. Leith1 THE KIRKGATE. CHAPTER XXIII. LEITH - THE KIRKGATE. The Kirkgate-Eastside-Tavern Tragedy, 1691-Robed Watson-The Preceptmy of St. Anthony-Its Seal-King James's Hospital--% Mary's Church-Destruction of the Choir-First Protestant Miniister--Cromwell's Troops-The Rev. John Logan, Miniiter. ONE of the oldest and principal streets of Leith is the Kirkgate, a somewhat stately thoroughfare as compared with those off it, measuring eleven hundred feet in length from the foot of the Walk to the Water Reservoir (called of old The Pipes) at the head of Water Lane, by an average breadth of fifty feet. " Time and modern taste," says Wilson, " have slowly, but very effectually, modified its antique features. No timber-fronted gable now thrusts its picturesque fapde with careless grace beyond the line of more staid and formal-looking ashlar fronts. Even the crowstepped gables of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are becoming the exception ; it is only by the irregularity which still pertains to it, aided by the few really picturesque tenements which remain unaltered, that it now attracts the notice of the curious visitor as the genuine remains of the ancient High Street of the burgh. Some of these relics of former times are well worthy the notice of the antiquary, while
Volume 6 Page 213
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