Previous to the bridge being built in the late 15th century, Leith had settlements on either side of the river, lacking an easy crossing.South Leith was larger and was controlled by the lairds of Restalrig: the Logan family.Stuart Harris was of the opinion, based largely on the contemporary Petworth map, that Pelham's Battery was built on the slope to the south of Leith Links and Somerset's Battery was located adjacent to the present Pilrig House.
Lent authority by the Ordnance Survey map of 1852, this attribution saved the mounds when several other hillocks on the links were removed in the 1880s.
The best documented day of the siege was , when the English and Scots charged the walls of Leith with ladders that turned out to be too short.
In June 1560, Mary of Guise died, and the Siege of Leith ended with the departure of the French troops in accordance with the Treaty of Leith, also known as the Treaty of Edinburgh.
Two mounds on Leith Links, known as "Giant's Brae" and "Lady Fyfe's Brae", identified as Somerset's Battery and Pelham's Battery respectively, are believed to be artillery mounds created for the siege in April 1560 and are listed as scheduled monuments.
John Knox records the delight of Mary of Guise at the failure of the attack, and English sources report 1000 casualties.
Late in 1561, Mary, Queen of Scots, arrived in Leith and, finding no welcoming party to receive her, made a brief stop at the "house of Andro Lamb ...
The earliest evidence of settlement in Leith comes from several archaeological digs undertaken in the Shore area in the late 20th century.
Amongst the finds were medieval wharf edges from the 12th century.
This has traditionally been the shipbuilding side of Leith with several wet and dry docks built over time.