This walk was part of the Audacious Women Festival 2021 and Terminalia Festival (23//21) on Saturday 20 February, 4 – 5pm (gmt). It was an online tour for anyone who was ambulant or not, in Edinburgh or not! We toured part of the Leith boundary, the Rosebank Cemetery, the North Leith Burial Ground, and the streets in between, using a special format with information, photos, video, maps and conversation about the wonderful women associated with Leith’s past and contemporary connections.
(This walk was originally made on foot with a live group in Edinburgh on 23 February 2020, 3pm – sunset (5.30pm). This event has now taken place but it is hoped that there will be more in the future.)
The original tour was a circular one of approx. 2.5 hrs, to muse and meditate on boundaries and borders – between one community of people and another, day and night, life and death and on the cusp of the new moon.
We visited the graves of notable women in Rosebank Cemetery, North Leith Burial Ground and South Leith Parish Church. Briefly, at each stopping place, we faced the memorial stones, and learned about their incumbents.
The North Leith Burial Ground is ‘the dead centre of Leith’ according to The Spirit of Leithers
The steps taken from one to the next, were equally, if not more important. We walked in memory of loved ones, and mused on life and mortality. It was an opportunity for exchange and silent contemplation. I made a psychogeographical map of the walk afterwards (see below).
Meeting at the join of Pilrig Street and Leith Walk, opposite the location of the Boundary Bar (now renamed as Bier Hoose) which marked the former border between Leith and Edinburgh, it terminated at Robbies (the corner of Iona St and Leith Walk, more or less opposite the start) for libation and conversation about where we had been – both in ourselves and the city.
Always wear hardy shoes or boots for tramping pavements and negotiating sodden grass between stones and at the edge of the Water of Leith. This event was free of charge.
Psychogeography is ‘The study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organised or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals.’
Guy Debord from Making Maps
The annual Terminalia Festival of Psychogeography
Terminus was one of the really old Roman gods – he didn’t have a statue, he was a stone marker – and his origin, associated with a physical object, and lack of the usual stories that go with the gods, may have originated from animalistic religions. He had influence over less physical boundaries too, like that between two months, or between two groups of people. Terminalia was celebrated on the 23rd February – which was the last day of the Roman Year, the boundary between two new years.
Women Who Walk
Tamsin Grainger is a member of Women Who Walk. The network is for women who use walking in their creative or academic practice. It includes artists, writers, field historians and archaeologists, psychogeographers, academics and more.
Please note that there is no religious content to this event. Dogs and children are welcome. There are no flights of steps.
Eventbrite ticket (free)
Walking Between Worlds 1 an account of the walk
Walking Between Worlds 2 the second part of an account of the walk
Walking Between Worlds – 3 the third part of an account of the walk