Graves of children and adults dating back at least 400 years have been discovered in a school playground.

The human remains were unearthed by archaeologists brought in after a skeleton was discovered during investigative works for a new classroom at the Edinburgh primary school.

The outlines of at least nine coffins were found in the grounds of St Mary's Primary School in Leith.

Edinburgh City Council archaeologist John Lawson said: "Leith and the surrounding area has a rich archaeological history.

Read more: Construction workers find human remains at St Mary's Primary in Edinburgh

"These excavations have unearthed what appears to be a complex cemetery thought to date from the 15th to the 17th centuries, containing at least nine graves including adults and young children buried in coffins.

"The discoveries of these burials in this location, although always a possibility, is nevertheless a surprise.

"Further excavations will reveal more evidence which will allow us to accurately date these burials and how they relate to the history of Leith."


The area containing the remains has been fenced off but the school remains open.

The discovery means a delay in the construction of the new classrooms as further archaeological analysis is expected to last until the end of June.