Surviving Court records are usually in local archives, but some are in the National Archives of Scotland.
After Edinburgh suffered a series of fires, an Act of the City Council in 1674 gave the Court authority to enforce new building regulations, ratified in 1698 by an Act of the Scottish Parliament.
The first such Act in 1848 had limited impact on buildings, but laid out the framework of local authority in England and Wales, known initially as boards of health.
An Act of Parliament in 1757 established the Wide Streets Commission for Dublin.
It operated until 1851, generating minute books, architectural drawings and maps, which are held by Dublin City Archives.
The mayor and aldermen settled such cases in a court called the Assize of Nuisance. Stone, brick and tile were safer materials within urban areas. As the population grew, space was at a premium within city walls. By the end of the Middle Ages tall, jettied timber houses overhung narrow streets in many a town and city.
It was this pattern that fueled the Great Fire of London in 1666, which wiped out 80% of the city.