Excavations at Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh: the development of closes and tenements north of the Royal Mile during the 16th-18th centuries

Morag Cross (Author)

Julie Franklin (Author)

Paul Masser (Author)

Auli Tourunen (Author)

Michael Kimber (Author)


Keyword(s):
boundary, Walls, tannery, cellars, Burgage, Plots, Pits, Buckle, Pottery, Pipes, Exotic Plant Remains, Charcoal, Carbonised Plant Remains, Barley, Dutch Redware, Redware, Sheep, Cattle, Bird Bones, Domestic Chicken, Mouse, Pig Dog Cat Rabbit, Fish Bones, Domestic Bird, Bones
Location(s):
Jeffrey Street; Scottish; Edinburgh; Edinburgh's High Street. NGR: NT 260 737
Period(s):
medieval, 16th century, 17th century, 18th century, Roman

Abstract


Excavations on the site of a former tannery to the rear of Edinburgh's High Street produced evidence for the infilling of medieval burgage plots from the 16th century onwards. Walls defining a terrace and a burgage plot boundary suggest a considerable investment in at least some of the backlands during the medieval period, but these structures later went out of use, corresponding to a widely documented decline in Scottish towns during the 14th century. During the late 16th century, substantial buildings with cellars on either side of a paved close represent the first appearance of the multi-storey tenement buildings that characterise much of the Old Town. These buildings provide the basis for a discussion of the character of urbanisation in late 16th- and early 17th-century Edinburgh. The cellars were demolished and backfilled with refuse at different dates between the 1640s and 1740s. Finds from these refuse deposits are highly significant as a sample of changing consumption patterns during this period. During the 18th century the area appears to have declined in status and taken on a more industrial character; later, a tannery was established on part of the site by the 1830s, which expanded to cover much of the site by the 1880s.

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Published
01-01-2014
How to Cite
Cross, Morag, Julie Franklin, Paul Masser, Auli Tourunen, and Michael Kimber. 2014. “Excavations at Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh: The Development of Closes and Tenements North of the Royal Mile During the 16th-18th Centuries”. Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports 58 (January). https://doi.org/10.9750/issn.1773-3808.2014.58.