Leith Local History Society

North Leith Parish Church

North Leith Parish Church – Click to enlarge

North Leith Parish Church

Date: ?

North Leith Parish Church – Click to enlarge

North Leith Parish Church

Photo: D King, Date: 25 June 2012

North Leith Parish Church
Click images to enlarge

By the early years of the 19th century it had become clear that the old church (see St Ninian’s Chapel) was too small for the ever increasing population of North Leith. It was agreed in 1810 that a new church should be built. A site on Madeira Street was obtained and the foundation stone was laid on 11th April 1814. The new church was opened for public worship on 1st September 1816.

The church was designed by William Burn, an Edinburgh architect. It was constructed to generous specifications and with high quality materials including ashlar stone from Craigleith quarry and joists formed from 70 foot lengths of pitch pine brought from North America.

Its site in Madeira Street made it a focal point for the area intended as Leith’s ‘New Town’. Nowadays although it is in a heavily built-up area, the Church with its tall elegant steeple remains a landmark and the finest building in the neighbourhood.

In 1941 the Church suffered from blast damage when a land mine shattered a large area of North Leith. It reopened in 1950 following restoration and refurbishment.