the picturesque Dean Village is like stepping back
in time. Its history can be traced back as far as
1128. Originally named the Village of the Water of
Leith, the word Dean or 'Dene' meaning a deep valley.
The village, half a mile west of Deanhaugh Street,
was once a busy industrial village with eleven mills
powered by the fast flowing river.
'The Baxters' or baker's guild
provided the whole of Edinburgh and surrounding
villages with meal and thrived until the 19th Century
when the larger flour mills in Leith eventually
made them redundant.
Archictect Sydney Mitchell was
commissioned in 1884 by J. R. Finlay, (proprietor
of The Scotsman newspaper) to build Well Court to
provide housing for the village workers. The building
with the clock tower was the local community hall.
It is now an office.
The half timber building on the
south bank, named Hawthorn Buildings were built in
There are many reminders of the
baxters of Dean in the form of stone carvings and
inscriptions above door lintels. One carries the
" In the sweat
of thy face shall thou eat bread" Genesis
The two crossed 'peels' carved on Brae Bridge date
from 1643 and represent the paddles used for taking
bread from a hot oven.
The Water of Leith Walkway
passes through Dean Village and continues on Westward
towards the Scottish National
Gallery of Modern Art and Dean