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South Leith Parish Church

Located by Kirkgate in Leith, at the bottom of Leith Walk, is South Leith Parish Church, an uninspiring Gothic building erected in 1847-8 by architect Thomas Hamilton (1784 - 1858). It is, however, of historic importance, having been built around a chapel of c.1483, which was badly damaged in the bombardment of Leith in 1560, when the Protestant Lords of Congregation besieged Mary of Lorraine (1515-60), together with the French troops she had welcomed to unsuccessfully put down the Reformation in Scotland. This chapel formally became the Parish Church of South Leith in 1609. Vestiges of the old chapel can still be seen inside Hamilton's church. Within, the church is rather more interesting, with a hammerbeam roof, fine marble pulpit and communion table. The church also contains numerous ecclesiastical and historical memorabilia.

On the floor of porches at the northeast and southwest of the church are grave stones dating from the 16th Century The church yard contains an immense number of burials, although most are unmarked, but there are important memorials to the trades, for example the carters and coopers.


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