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Encyclopedia > Leith Harbour

Formerly a royal burgh, Leith is a town at the mouth of the Water of Leith and is the port of Edinburgh, Scotland. It lies on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, in the unitary local authority of City of Edinburgh. English Regis Bere Regis Bognor Regis Grafton Regis Houghton Regis Lyme Regis Melcombe Regis Rowley Regis Wyke Regis Royal Royal Berkshire Royal Leamington Spa Royal Tunbridge Wells Royal Borough Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Former Royal Borough... The Water of Leith is the river flowing through Edinburgh, Scotland. ... Categories: Stub | Commercial item transport and distribution | Transportation ... Edinburgh (pronounced ), Dùn Èideann () in Scottish Gaelic, is the second-largest city in Scotland and its capital city. ... Scottish Executive - official site of the Scottish Executive Scottish Parliament - official site of The Scottish Parliament BBC Scotland - Scottish history, news and travel pages from BBC The Gazetteer for Scotland - Extensive guide to the places and people of Scotland, by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and University of Edinburgh Scotland... The Firth of Forth from Calton Hill The Forth Bridges cross the Firth The Firth of Forth is the estuary or firth of Scotlands River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh, and East Lothian to... City of Edinburgh (Mòr-bhaile Dhùn Èideann in Gaelic) is one of 32 unitary council regions in Scotland. ...

Contents


History

Historically Leith and Edinburgh were separate burghs, but growth over the centuries means that Leith and Edinburgh now form a contiguous urban area. Leith merged with Edinburgh in 1920 following a referendum in which the people of Leith voted five to one against the merger. A burgh (pronounced burruh) is the Scots language equivalent of the English language borough. ... 1920 (MCMXX) is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ...


Leith has a long and prominent role in Scottish history. As the major port access to Edinburgh, Leith has served as the staging point for many of Scottish history's significant events. Mary Queen of Scots's mother - Mary of Guise - ruled Scotland from Leith, as Regent for her daughter in 1560. At that time the Scottish Court was situated in Leith. The Regency ended in disaster with French Catholic troops being ousted by Scottish forces aided by English protestant troops. The following year Mary Queen of Scots arrived in Leith to begin her ill-fated six year reign.


About a century later Leith was both a battleground and ultimately headquarters for Oliver Cromwell forces. An archway of the old Leith Citadel stands as the only remnant of extensive Cromwellian fortifications forced upon Leith following the move north of a roundhead army. Unfinished portrait miniature of Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper, 1657. ... The Roundheads was the nickname given to big supporters of the Parliamentarian cause in the English Civil War. ...


The remains of the battlefield are now a park called the Leith Links and the grassy mounds mark former cannon emplacement earthworks. This was also where the earliest record of golf is found - being the subject of a ban by King James II in 1457 as it interfered with the more useful sport of archery. The links are the site of an early five hole golf course built in the 18th century. Leith bolsters its claim to being "the home of golf" because the official rules of golf that were initially formulated at Leith in 1744 by the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, were then later adopted by St Andrews. Golf is a game where individual players or teams hit a ball into a hole using various clubs. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Golf is a game where individual players or teams hit a ball into a hole using various clubs. ... The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world. ...


During the American war of independence John Paul Jones, a Scotsman who is credited as founder of the US Navy, led a flotilla of three former French vessels against Leith. The heavily armed warships were, reputedly, repulsed by appaling weather. Leith built fortifications after this event to prevent any repeat threat to the port and to Edinburgh. Part of Leith is still known as "The Fort" to this day, although all of the 18th century buildings, save a gatehouse, are long since gone. John Paul Jones John Paul Jones (July 6, 1747–July 18, 1792) was Americas first well-known naval hero in the American Revolutionary War. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ...


The docks at Leith underwent severe decline in the post Second World War period, with the area gaining a reputation for roughness and prostitution. In recent years Leith has undergone significant regeneration and is now a busy port with visits from cruise liners and the home of the Royal Yacht Britannia, Ocean Terminal, and administrative headquarters of the Scottish Executive. The council and government's 'Leith Project' provided a further economic boost. The shore area of Leith, once seedy, is now a centre for a range of new pubs and restaurants in charming surroundings. Dock can refer to several things: Places for the transfer of people and materials to, from, or between different forms of transport or working with transport: A maritime dock. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... Britannia HM Yacht Britannia was the 83rd Royal Yacht since the restoration of King Charles II in 1660 (Charles II himself had 25 Royal Yachts, while five were simultaneously in service in 1831). ... Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh, Scotland is a shopping centre, designed by Terence Conran. ... The term Scottish Executive is used in two distinct but closely related senses. ...


The New Face of Leith

After the decades of post-war industrial decline, slum clearance and resultant depopulation in the post war era, Leith gradually began to enjoy an upturn in fortunes in the late 1980s. Several old industrial sites were developed with modest, affordable housing, while small industrial business units were constructed at Swanfield, Bonnington, Seafield and off Lindsay Road. The Shore developed a clutch of chic restaurants, while the once industrially-polluted, desolate banks of the Water of Leith were cleansed and a public walkway opened.


Leith's gradual revival was greatly accelerated, however, by the decision of the Scottish Office (a government department - now the Scottish Executive) to purchase the disued (and filled-in!) Old East and Old West Docks as a low cost site for one of its civil service offices in the mid 1990s. The influx of well-paid civil service jobs boosted local commerce and fostered Leith's growing reputation as a white-collar small business location. Further large-scale service and tourist development followed, including the Ocean Terminal complex and the permanently moored Royal Yacht Britannia. Categories: Stub | Scotland | Departments of the United Kingdom Government ... The term Scottish Executive is used in two distinct but closely related senses. ... Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh, Scotland is a shopping centre, designed by Terence Conran. ... Britannia HM Yacht Britannia was the 83rd Royal Yacht since the restoration of King Charles II in 1660 (Charles II himself had 25 Royal Yachts, while five were simultaneously in service in 1831). ...


The new millenium witnessed proposals to entierly develop the entire western half of Leith Docks (the "North Leith" bank of the river), fueled by the continued boom in the British property market and the downturn in Leith's role as a commercial port. Alexandra Dry Dock, Victoria Dock, Prince of Wales Dock, Albert Dock and Edinburgh Dock - collectivly the eastern docks - are all expected to remain.


The masterplan for what will be virtually a new town entails a luxury new residential area named Platinum Point (designed by Robert Adam), a fitness centre, and later, a central park surrounded by narrow streets and grand crescents and avenues. The whole project is expected completed by about 2020. Ocean Terminal is considered the first stage of this new development, and poigniantly, is constructed upon the exact site of the last shipyard in Leith, Henry Robb's, which closed in 1984.


The significance of this should not be overlooked, for it encapsulates the "gentrification of Leith" which many "natives" have complained of. Unfortunatley, most of the new developments are branded "luxury" or "exclusive" and indeed are exclusive - well beyond the price range of indigenous working-class Leithers. The danger exists of a two tier Leith, split between original residents and middle-class incomers, and the contrast is startling - less than 200 metres from the new development lies the Fort housing scheme, one of the most deprived areas in Edinburgh. Time will tell whether such large scale development will enhance or destroy the traditional spirit and charm of Leith.


Famous people from Leith

Paolozzis Newton, bronze (1995) in the courtyard of the British Library. ... Still Life With Picasso, created by Roy Lichtenstein in 1973 Pop art was an artistic movement that emerged in the late 1950s in England and the United States. ... Chris Small (born 26 September 1973) is a Scottish professional snooker player. ... Snooker table Snooker is a billiards sport that is played on a large (12 X 6) baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long cushions. ... Charlie and Craig Reid, as pictured on The Proclaimers album Hit the Highway Charlie Reid and Craig Reid (born 5 March 1962 in Leith, Scotland) are identical twin brothers, famous as singers and songwriters in The Proclaimers. ... Craig and Charlie on the cover of their debut album This Is The Story The Proclaimers are a Scottish band composed of identical twins Charlie and Craig Reid. ... Robert Jameson Professor Robert Jameson (1774-1854) was a Scottish naturalist and mineralogist, born in Leith, near Edinburgh, in July 1774. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters of an electoral district to a parliament; in the Westminster system, specifically to the lower house. ... The Right Honourable William Ewart Gladstone (29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British Liberal statesman and Prime Minister (1868–1874, 1880–1885, 1886 and 1892–1894). ... Irvine Welsh, reading one of his new short stories at the Edinburgh International Book Festival Irvine Welsh (born Leith, Edinburgh, September 27, 1958) is a Scottish novelist. ... Trainspotting (1993) is the first novel by Irvine Welsh. ...

Notable streets in Leith

Constitution Street | Great Junction Street | Leith Walk | Timber Bush Etymology Bush is the corrupt form of Bourse, meaning a stock exchange History Timber Bush was originally the open piazza in the lower storey of an ancient building adjoining Queen Street Chapel in Leith, where the merchants and traders met for business - the Bourse, or exchange. ...


Other points of interest

Leith is home to Hibernian FC, who play at Easter Road Stadium. (NB: Easter Road Stadium actually stradles the old council boundary between Edinburgh and Leith, the north end being in Leith, the south in Edinburgh). Hibernian Football Club is one of two main Edinburgh football clubs (the other being Heart of Midlothian). ... Easter Road is a shining example of what a medium sized SPL club can achieve, with good financial management. ...


The Proclaimers had a hit with "Sunshine on Leith". They are supporters of Hibernian Football Club and the song is regularly played before home matches. Craig and Charlie on the cover of their debut album This Is The Story The Proclaimers are a Scottish band composed of identical twins Charlie and Craig Reid. ... Hibernian Football Club is one of two main Edinburgh football clubs (the other being Heart of Midlothian). ...


Several of Irvine Welsh's books, most famously his debut novel Trainspotting and it´s sequel Porno, are partly set in Leith. Irvine Welsh, reading one of his new short stories at the Edinburgh International Book Festival Irvine Welsh (born Leith, Edinburgh, September 27, 1958) is a Scottish novelist. ...


Grand Theft Auto computer game developers Rockstar North are based on Leith Street, the road (continued as Leith Walk) to Leith from central Edinburgh. Prior to this, the company was based within Leith itself - in an office building situated next to Leith Links park. Post-GTA2 design of the Grand Theft Auto logo Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is a computer and video game series created and developed by Scottish developer Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design), published by Rockstar Games and debuted in 1997. ... Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) is a developer of computer and video games, formerly based in Dundee, Scotland, and now located in the Leith area of Edinburgh. ... Edinburgh (pronounced ), Dùn Èideann () in Scottish Gaelic, is the second-largest city in Scotland and its capital city. ...


External link

http://www.edinburgh-forthside.co.uk/forthside/


References

  • John Russell, The Story of Leith, 1922.
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