From Edinburgh Castle over the Royal Mile to the Canongate Tolbooth
Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position on the Castle Rock. The castle, in the care of Historic Scotland, is Scotland’s most-visited paid tourist attraction, with over 1.4 million visitors in 2013. As the backdrop to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo during the annual Edinburgh International Festival the castle has become a recognisable symbol of Edinburgh and of Scotland and indeed, it is Edinburgh’s most frequently visited visitor attraction—according to the Edinburgh Visitor Survey, more than 70% of leisure visitors to Edinburgh visited the castle (Source Wikipedia). So there is no way to make Photos inside the Castle without 10000 Tourists in your Photos. But its for sure a “must-visit”…
The View from Castle Rock over Edinburgh is just stunning
The Closes of the Royal Mile
The Old Town of Edinburgh, Scotland, consisted originally of the main street, now known as the Royal Mile, and the small alleyways and courtyards that led off it to the north and south. These were usually named after a memorable occupant of one of the apartments reached by the common entrance, or a trade plied by one or more residents. Generically such an alleyway is termed a close /ˈkloʊs/, a Scots term for alleyway, although it may be individually named close, entry, court, or wynd. A close is private property, hence gated and closed to the public, whereas a wynd is an open thoroughfare, usually wide enough for a horse and cart. Most slope steeply down from the Royal Mile creating the impression of a herring-bone pattern formed by the main street and side streets when viewed on a map. Many have steps and long flights of stairs.
Because of the need for security within its town walls against English attacks in past wars, Edinburgh experienced a pronounced density in housing. Closes tend to be narrow with tall buildings on both sides, giving them a canyon-like appearance and atmosphere.( Source Wikipedia).
I have used the wonderful site www.royal-mile.com to explore some of the narrowest, darkest, historically most important and beautiful Closes. Here are just a few…
Previously known as Hamilton’s Close and Cant’s Land, this is named in honour of Thomas Fisher, the first Chamberlain of Edinburgh, who built a tenement on this site at the end of the sixteenth century.
The remains of a mansion can be found here dating 1638.
Warriston’s Close from Cockburn Street
It takes its name from Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees, the last Advocate of Scotland in office during the time of the Restoration, Revolution and Union.
James Court has a special place in Edinburgh’s history, as it is connected to several of the most important figures in the city’s past.
James Court was built between 1723–7 by a developer called James Brownhill. His plan was for a courtyard building of exclusive apartment. During Edinburgh’s 18th century enlightenment many important literary figures enjoyed living here.
One of the first open squares in old Edinburgh. Designed and Built by Robert Mylne in the late 17th Century.The Old buildings which formed the West side of the court were demolished in 1883.The North and South blocks were restored and the east range rebuilt by The University of Edinburgh between 1966 and 1970. Robert Mylne (1633 – 10 December 1710) was a Scottish stonemason and architect.
Lady Stair’s House lies just off the Lawnmarket, a location favoured by tourists as a picturesque piece of Old Edinburgh. Perhaps its popularity partly lies in fairy-tale look, described by one architectural expert as “…picturesque Arts & Crafts confection, with…vigorously unreal stonework”. However the building does have almost 400 years of history, and represents a remarkable survival from the past.
The house was built in 1622 by Sir William Gray of Pittendrum, a very successful city merchant. At that time and it was common for the wealthy to live tucked away down one of the hundreds of narrow passageways known as closes, away from the bustle and noise of the main street.
Today Lady Stair’s House is home to the Writers’ Museum, with displays celebrating authors such as Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson. It is open Monday – Saturday and admission is free, allowing anyone to go and imagine themselves as the proud owners and gaze at the fine views over Princes Street Gardens. (Source www.ewht.org.uk/visit).
Most alleys are barely more than two feet wide, as well as Borthwick‘s Close
And last… Worlds End Close
So called because this literally was the end of most people’s world. Situated just inside the Netherbow gate, poorer residence who couldn’t afford the entrance fee back into the city stayed there whole lives within the confines of the City Walls.
Outlander fans will fondly remember the ancient pub named ” The Worlds End” because it was the tavern that Jamie and Claire dashed out into the pouring rain to pick up the drunken Mr. Willoughby…
Famous Buildings on our Way
John Knox House, popularly known as “John Knox’s House”, is a historic house in Edinburgh, Scotland, reputed to have been owned and lived in by Protestant reformer John Knox during the 16th century. Although his name became associated with the house, he appears to have lived in Warriston Close where a plaque indicates the approximate site of his actual residence.
St Giles’ Cathedral is the historic City Church of Edinburgh. With its famed crown spire it stands on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland’s chivalric company of knights chosen by The Queen.)
The Canongate Tolbooth is a highly distinctive building.. As well as being an interesting and important historic building, the Tolbooth is a reminder that at one time the Canongate was separate from Edinburgh.The Tolbooth was built in 1591 and would have formed the local hub for the Canongate burgh, along with the nearby Mercat Cross for merchants to meet and do business. The Tolbooth would have had many functions, serving as courthouse, burgh jail and meeting place of the town council.Today the Tolbooth is open as a museum. (Sorce ETWH)
the Rest of our Way can be found in Part 1 ( Canongate Kirk til Calton Hill)
and here some mixed Photos to show you some more of Edinburgh then just famous Bulidings and Places::