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Digital Subscriptions > History Scotland > History Scotland Sep -Oct 2019 > Kinauld Tannery: Excavating one of the last paper mills on the Water of Leith

Kinauld Tannery: Excavating one of the last paper mills on the Water of Leith

Diana Sproat presents the results of recent excavations on the Water of Leith, where the remains of an 18th-century paper mill were uncovered, allowing the mill buildings to give up their secrets
Fig. 1, the main production shed of the former Kinauld Tannery Works, 2010

Modern development along the Water of Leith to the southwest of Edinburgh has seen the disappearance of a once thriving mill industry that originated in the 18th century. The Water of Leith, with its powerful fiow and ideal transport links to the city, saw the area between Currie and Balerno busy with mills – mostly paper mills – along its banks. All of these sites have now been cleared for housing developments, and the large former tannery site owned by J Hewit & Sons Ltd at 371 Lanark Road West was one of the last sites to be cleared for new development in 2010.

The 1.2-hectare site was dominated by a four-storey production shed and chimney, with other buildings including a brick tanyard and boiler house (Fig. 1). The City of Edinburgh Council imposed a planning condition to ensure that this industrial complex, and any below-ground remains, were investigated. This project was undertaken following the advice of the City of Edinburgh Council Archaeology Service (CECAS) and was commissioned by the developer, Dunhaven Homes Ltd.

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About History Scotland

Don't miss Sep/Oct History Scotland and the launch of our Insider BONUS CONTENT! Highlights of this packed issue include: · The Sobieski Stuarts – new research on the remarkable brothers who popularised tartan and fooled a generation with their book Vestiarium Scoticum · New findings relating to the Traprain Law hoard – discovered in East Lothian 100 years ago this year · The Aberdeen Doctors – six men who dared to oppose the National Covenant · Lords of the Isles: a striking reconstruction of a medieval Islay power base * HISTORY SCOTLAND INSIDER: Exclusive interview, new video on the north east slavery legacy, exclusive discounts from heritage partners.​