An aerial shot of the the redevelopment of Leith taken in May 1965.
An aerial shot of the the redevelopment of Leith taken in May 1965.

Leith street names: Here are the fascinating stories behind 10 of the roads in the Edinburgh neighbourhood - from Baltic Street to Easter Road

They are road names that many Edinburgh residents are familiar with – and each of them has an interesting story behind it.

Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 12:12 pm

Edinburgh has a fascinating history dating back thousands of years, with evidence of a settlement in the Cramond area from around 8500 BC.

The city’s name comes from ‘Eidyn’, the name for the region in Cumbric – the Brittonic language spoken in the Northern England and Lowland Scotland in the Middle Ages.

At this time a stronghold on Castle Rock was called Din Eidyn, literally meaning ‘the hillfort of Eidyn’. As the Scots language evolved, the Din was replaced by ‘burh’, creating Edinburgh.

And there are plenty more clues to the Capital’s complex past in the names of the streets, roads, and lanes that make up the city, all of which come from a multitude of languages, backgrounds and people.

Leith itself gets its name from the river it sits on, first appearing in the 12th century as part of the compound name Inverleith, meaning ‘mouth of the Leith’.

Further back still some historians think that the name comes from a word similar to ‘Llaith’, which means ‘water’ in Welsh.

Here are the stories behind 10 of the road names in the area.

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