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Edinburgh, 53 Holyrood Road

Tenement (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, 53 Holyrood Road

Classification Tenement (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) South Back Of Canongate; Clermiston Buildings

Canmore ID 121447

Site Number NT27SE 1767

NGR NT 26495 73645

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian


Excavation (10 December 2010 - 12 June 2012)

Headland Archaeology (UK) Ltd conducted a programme of archaeological works at 160 Canongate/Sugarhouse Close/41, 49, 53 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh. The programme of archaeological works comprised a mixture of historic building recording, targeted excavations and monitoring of ground reduction works and test pit excavations across the upper and lower terrace of the site. The results of this programme of archaeological works recorded 6 phases of activity across the site. The archaeological works across the site revealed three phases clearly pre-dating the construction of the brewery. The earliest phase of the site related to the multiple layers of garden soils, possibly associated with medieval and post-medieval activity on the site. A large well, cut into the bedrock, was also recorded to the N end of the site that may represent the earliest feature on the site. The remains of two stone walls may represent the only upstanding features associated with Phase 2 of the site. These walls are thought to indicate the location of the known sugar refinery that existed on this site between 1752 and the 1853. A layer of pottery rich clayey silt represented the only other clear evidence of the existence of a sugar refinery on this site. The large amount of pottery included frequent shards of sugar cones and syrup jars. The excavation of the site recorded various walls, floors, flues and culverts and discreet features associated with buildings linked to Phase 3 of the site. All these features were within buildings first depicted in the 1852 Ordnance Survey The historic building recording revealed that although the main fabric of the original brewery survived, much of the internal workings of this site had been either modified or completely removed. Four main phases (Phase 3 - 6) associated with the present buildings were identified.

Don Wilson, Headland Archaeology ltd. June 2012. OASis-id: headland1-128478


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