Archaeological evidence shows that there was human settlement by the banks of the Water of Leith in prehistoric days. Leith, however, enters recorded history in 1128 when King David I granted certain lands in North Leith together with his harbour (at Coalhill) to the Holyrood Abbey. The King then developed another harbour at The Shore for his own use.
Leith is usually thought of as the port or dock area of Edinburgh. It was not, however, part of Edinburgh until 1920. Between 1833 and 1920 Leith was an independent burgh. Before that Edinburgh town council was able to control Leith through being the feudal superior of the land there. Leith history is full of examples of how Leithers tried, often successfully, to evade those controls.
Leith was formerly highly industrial. Recently there has been significant change and large scale building of housing. It is an area of paradox with many fashionable restaurants and bars, yet with pockets of significant deprivation
The area immediately around St James church is mixed with the large area of Leith Links, the local secondary school – Leith Academy- and two primary schools minutes away and many flats very close by in private terraced housing, converted bond buildings and council owned flats
We participate in the Leith Gala e.g. with an arts café in the church and latterly with a fair trade stall on the links itself
Leith has a significant multi-ethnic population
The view from St James (feature image) can be beautiful, but Leith is a very varied area.