2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Scotland - Edinburgh - Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle sits on Castle Rock, the highest point in Edinburgh.   Archaeological digs have shown that the rock was inhabited by Bronze Age man by 850 BC.  By the Iron Age 2,000 years ago, it has developed into a hill-fort settlement.
The first castle was probably the one built by King David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until 1633. From that time the castle's residential role declined, and by the 17th century it was principally used as military barracks with a large garrison.
Approaching the castle from the east, the only way  to get there without climbing, we can see the gatehouse, where we will enter; the rounded Half Moon Battery right behind it; the Royal Palace to the left; the top of the National War Memorial in the middle just above the battery.   
The "new" gatehouse was erected in 1888. Statues of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace were added in 1929.
We entered the Portcullis Gate with the Argyle Tower above.

Gun at the Argyle Battery.

View from Argyle Battery.

National War Memorial built at the top of the hill.

Top corner of the National War Memorial

East side of the National War Memorial

Back of the National War Memorial.

South side of the Royal Palace.
Front of the Royal Palace where we entered to look at the Honours of Scotland and the Stone of Scone.  The Honours are the crown, sword and scepter of Scotland. The Stone of Scone, otherwise known as The Stone of Destiny and, in England, as The Coronation Stone—is an oblong block of red sandstone that was used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland, and later the monarchs of England and the Kingdom of Great Britian.  This stone was returned to Scotland in 1996 but will go to England for the coronation of furture Kings and Queens.

Click to enlarge for reading.  The Honours were also hidden and their exact location forgotten between 1707 and 1818.

View out over the esplanade from one of the canons

Click to enlarge for reading.

The hall is only one of two medieval halls in Scotland with an original hammerbeam ceiling.

Cute way to indicate where the toilets are located.   Yes, you ask for the toilets, not the restrooms in UK and the rest of Europe.  

Click to enlarge for reading.

Views from the front of St. Margaret's Chapel

Princes Street Gardens with the "new" (18th century Georgian) Town beyond.

Looking down on the lower parts of Castle Hill are, from left to right: cart sheds, Mills Mount Battery, the One O'clock Gun and the Argyle Battery.  All with the New Town and The Firth of Forth in the distance

Looking northwest we get a getter view of the cartsheds, which now house the Redcoat Café and tea rooms.  Behind the cartsheds, we see the hospital.  To the left of the tree is the Governors house. 
In front of St Margaret's Chapel is Mons Meg.

Click to enlarge for reading.

The buildings at the top of the hill were erected on foundations formed by the construction of a series of large stone vaults built onto the uneven Castle Rock in the 1430s. These vaults were used as a state prison until the 19th century, although more important prisoners were held in the main parts of the castle

The National War Museum of Scotland

Behind the Governor's House a store for munitions was built in 1747–48 and later extended to form a courtyard, in which the main gunpowder magazine also stood.   One of the buildings was remodeled as a military hospital in 1897 while the other is  now the National War Museum of Scotland.

Between the hospital and the War Museum is Butts Battery.  This display indicates what we can see from the battery.

St Cuthbert's Church.  Although the current church wasn't built until 1894, a chapel dedicated to St Cuthbert is first mentioned in the 8th century.  It is believed that a church has definitely stood on the same site as currently used since 850 AD, making it Edinburgh's oldest building in terms of foundation. A mediaeval St. Cuthbert's church is mentioned in 1127

In the courtyard surrounded by the museum, hospital and Butts Battery, sits this statue to Earl Haig.

We were there for the shooting of the One O'clock Gun.  Originally shot so clocks could be synchronize, it is now just  ceremonial occasion.

My short sister standing by one of the small service vehicles by the Redcoat Café.

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