Leith Citadel

(Citadel Gate)

Citadel Gate, Leith
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Citadel Gate, Leith

Leith Citadel was built in 1650-56 by John Mylne (1611-67) to house Oliver Cromwell's troops. Cromwell left General George Monk (1608-70) in charge of Scotland, and Monk built the Citadel as his headquarters. It was an impressive fortification, surrounded by massive low embankment-like walls. It included a large central courtyard and cost the immense sum of £100,000.

However, changing political events with the restoration of King Charles II (1630 - 85) ensured it had a short life, largely disused and partially demolished within 10 years. What remained retained a military function and was captured by the Jacobites in 1715, releasing a number of prisoners.

The east entrance, which took the form of a tunnelled passage, remains, preserved behind a fence, but completely out of context, in Leith's Dock Street. The parapet above was a reconstruction by the local authority in 1964.

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