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Edinburgh, Leith, St Ninian's Manse

Manse (16th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Leith, St Ninian's Manse

Classification Manse (16th Century)

Canmore ID 52008

Site Number NT27NE 8.01

NGR NT 26840 76481

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/52008

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT27NE 8.01 2685 7648

See also:

NT27NE 8 15th century Church

NT27NE 752 Post-medieval Mill

NT27NE 829 18th century Tenement

(NT 2685 7648) The manse, which stood at the NE corner of the church, still exists as the offices of Quayside Mills. It is built in two parts, of which the one to the W represents the parsonage of the two canons of Holyrood who served the church, while the E, larger, portion, which covers the entrance to the church, was added after the Reformation. The building as a whole has all the appearance of a late 16th century structure, remodelled towards the end of the 17th century. It is 3 storeys in height and L-shaped on plan. The masonry is of squared rubble; the lowest windows have been altered.

The entrance to the stair, now covered by the extension, is dated 1675 on the lintel.

RCAHMS 1951.

This old manse is in use as one of the mill buildings. The dated lintel still remains.

Visited by OS (B S) 27 November 1975.

Activities

Publication Account (1951)

218. St. Ninian's Church and Manse, Church Street.

ln 1493 Robert Bellenden, Abbot of Holyrood, founded and endowed a chantry chapel for two secular chaplains on the N. bank of the Water of Leith, dedicating it to St. Ninian. The fabric fell into ruin after the Reformation, was restored in 1595, and in 1606 became officially the church of a new and independent parish of North Leith. The Statistical Account of Scotland (1) states "both the church and manse are as old as the times of popery, but they have undergone a variety of repairs; the church received a very considerable one in the year 1736, when it was in a great measure rebuilt." In the early 19th century, when a new parish church had been provided upon another site, the old one was let to other congregations; and in 1825, when the last of these removed, the place was converted into a granary, which in its turn has been rebuilt as a mill [NT27NE 752]. The only remains of the older masonry now left exposed are in the lower part of the S. side-wall.

[NT27NE 8.01] The manse, however, which stood at the N.E. corner of the church, still exists in Church Street as the offices of Quayside Mills. It is built in two parts, of which the one to the W. represents the parsonage of the two canons of Holyrood who served the church; while the E., and larger, portion, which covers the entrance to the church, was added after the Reformation to accommodate married clergy. The building as a whole has all the appearance of a late 16th-century structure which has been remodelled towards the end of the century following. It is three storeys in height and L-shaped on plan, its wing containing the staircase and terminating in a timber clock-tower with a lead-covered ogival roof following the Dutch fashion. The re-entrant angle is occupied by a modern brick building of a single storey. The masonry is squared rubble. The lowest windows have been altered. Those on the first floor have moulded margins, while the single light on the second floor, which lacks its pediment, has back-set margins. The entrance to the stair, now covered by the extension, bears the date 1675 on the lintel. The interior has lately been modernised. In the steeple hangs a bell inscribed FOR THE KIRK OF NORTH LEITH DAVID HODGE FECIT 1738. The iron spindle and cardinal points and the copper weathercock upon the apex of the roof are modern, those that they replaced being preserved in the National Museum of Antiquities (2).

[NT27NE 829] From the S. gable of the manse extends a plain, rubble-built, four-storeyed tenement, probably of the first half of the 18th century, which has its S.E. corner splayed back. Through the centre of the front runs a pend, by which the church behind was entered; it has a rusticated archway at its outer end, the keystone of which is scrolled and bears a grotesque head. The windows have back-set margins. Over the central window on the first floor has been inserted the lintel of the main entrance to the church, bearing the inscription BLESED AR THEY YAT HEIR YE VORD OF GOD AND KEIP IT/ LVK XI 1600.

[For a description of the church plate, see RCAHMS 1951 p.252]

RCAHMS 1951, visited c.1941

(1) Vol. vi, p. 574 (1793). (2) P.S.A.S., iv, (1860-2), p. 295·

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