Arthur Seat and Queens Park Edinburgh
Arthur Seat in Gaelic was originally pronounced ARD – NA – SAID. It was a volcano that has shaped the land of Edinburgh for over 1000 years. Arthur Seat rises above the city to a height of 822 feet and provides excellent panoramic views of the city. It is a favourite place for visitors to climb as it is relatively easy to climb and is popular for hill walking. You can climb Arthur Seat from almost any direction. The easiest is from the east. Enter at Duddingston gates where there are steps for the first part then a grassy slope rises above Dunsapie Loch to the summit. The Radical Road is a footpath which will take you along the top of the slope immediately under Salisbury Crags which has long been a popular walk, giving a view over the city. It became known as the Radical Road after it was paved in the aftermath of the Radical War of 1820. There are three lochs that surround Arthur’s seat, Duddingston Loch, Dunsapie Loch (where Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army rested overnight prior to the battle of Prestonpans) and St Margaret’s Loch, the later where you can feed the birds and Climb to St Anthony’s Chapel and St Anthony’s well which is said to give good fortune. Arthur’s Seat also has a particular significance to the history of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints as this is where the nation of Scotland was dedicated in 1840 for the preaching of the gospel. The apostle Orsan Pratt of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons) arrived in Scotland in early 1840 and climbed the hill to pray to god for more converts. There is a road that runs around the hill and you can see the three lochs. St Anthony’s Chapel Stands on The Fairies or Haggis Knowe overlooking St Margaret’s Loch. The beacon was put at the top of the hill in 1688.
Climb Edinburgh’s extinct volcano. A good day out for all, with plenty to see and do, free of charge. See the whole of Edinburgh and beyond, good shoes and warm clothes required.
There is a road that you can cycle, walk or drive that goes around Arthur Seat, which you can access from the East side of St Margaret’s Loch, which is to the left of Holyrood House Palace as you enter the Queens Park from Horse Wynd. You can also see St Margaret’s Well and the steps to the start of the Radical Road across from the car park at the side of Horse Wynd. If you follow the road that passes above St Margaret’s Well you will come to St Anthony’s Well just down from St Anthony’s Chapel, continue on and the path will take you to the top of Arthur Seat. You will not be alone as it is very popular way to the top.
Arthur Seat is in the area called the Queens Park and towers over the skyline of Edinburgh.The above picture shows Arthur Seat and the south of Edinburgh.
Saint Anthony’s Chapel, Arthur Seat, Edinburgh
Saint Anthony’s Chapel stands on The Fairies or Haggis Knowe overlooking St Margaret’s Loch. The Chapel could have been built as early as the 14th Century, as it was reported that the Pope gave a donation for repairs in 1426. The Chapel may have been around 65 sq / m with a tower of about 12 m high.
St Anthony’s Chapel Information Board reads;
Prior to the 16th century Holyrood Park was held by the Abbey of Holyrood and Kelso. St Anthony’s Chapel stands in the part that probably belong to Kelso Abbey. The origin and history of the chapel are obscure, but it was certainly built prior to the early 15th century, as it was recorded in 1426 the Pope gave money for its repair. The chapel may have been link to the preceptory of St Anthony, a skin hospice which was based in leith at this time. The last chaplain was recorded in 1581.
St Margaret’s Loch Arthur Seat
St Margaret’s Loch was named after Queen Margaret mother to David I. Swans and Duck have been kept in the Loch since as early as the 16th Century and it was also a place that boating was available circa 50 years ago. The beginning of a freshwater stream that was said to have healing properties can be found in the hill close to St Anthony’s Chapel on Arthur Seat in Edinburgh.
Saint Anthony’s Well Arthur Seat
The Large boulder on the path to the west of Saint Anthony’s Chapel is where the water once flowed from under the boulder but is now dry. A tradition in Edinburgh is on the first day in May to climb to the top of Arthur Seat and wash your face in the dew at sunrise and make a wish at St Anthony’s Well. This was to give eternal beauty and to celebrate the gathering of the May Dew. The stream now flows into Saint Margaret’s Loch near to St Anthony’s Well.
Arthur Seat To The Summit
There is a road that you can cycle, walk or drive that goes around Arthur Seat, which you can access from the East side of St Margaret’s Loch, which is to the left of Holyrood House Palace as you enter the Queens Park from Horse Wynd. You can also see St Margaret’s Well and the steps to the start of the Radical Road across from the car park at the side of Horse Wynd. If you follow the road that passes above St Margaret’s Well you will come to St Anthony’s Well, just down from St Anthony’s Chapel, continue on and the path will take you to the top of Arthur Seat. You will not be alone as it is very popular way to the top.
Duddingston Loch Arthur Seat
Duddingston Loch dates back to the circa 1100 and replaced Treverlen the name of the land owners of the area. An earlier settlement may lay buried beyond the car park next to the gate. Duddingston Loch is a nature reserve with swans, geese, ducks and otters. It was previously used for ice skating curling and boating. It is also famous for the painting of the minister ice skating by Sir Henry Raeburn.
Dunsapie Loch Arthur Seat
Dunsapie Loch is where Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army camped before they marched the next day to fight the English at the battle of Prestonpans on the 21 September 1745. After defeating Sir John Cope and Government troops the Jacobite force lead by Charlie continued the reclaiming of Britain for the Stuarts. They reached as far as Derby by December before turning back. They were eventually defeated at the hands of the English lead by the Duke of Cumberland, at Culloden on the 16 April 1746 and the end of the rebellion to over-through the Hanoverian king and regain the British throne for the Stuarts was over. The final Jacobite uprising.
The Radical Road Arthur Seat
The Radical Road is a pathway that goes around Salisbury Crags and has long been a popular walk, giving a view over the city. It became known as the Radical Road after it was paved in the aftermath of the Radical War of 1820, using the labour of the unemployed.
The Coffins of Arthur Seat
The Coffins of Arthur Seat were found in June 1836 when a group of boys, hunting for rabbits on the slopes of Arthur’s Seat found 17 miniature coffins with hand carved figures dressed in clothing in the coffins. The meaning of the coffins has never been unearthed unlike the coffins some say it was witch craft others say a memorial to the 17 victims of Burke and Hare. No one knows. The surviving coffins are in the National Museum of Scotland.
Muschat’s Cairn Duke’s Walk Arthur Seat
Muschat’s Cairn can be found at the side of Dukes walk (named after James Duke of Albany) across from St Margaret’s Loch in Holyrood Park. The Cairn commemorates an event in 1720 when Nichol Muschat a surgeon dragged his wife to a place nearby the place the Cairn was erected and brutally murdered her. He was caught tried and hanged for his crime. At his trial the reason he gave for the brutal death was that he had simply tired of her. A Cairn consists of boulders piled together. The Muschat Cairn was erected in 1823 replacing an earlier Cairn which had been removed in the 1700s. The earlier Cairn was formed over several years by the tradition of laying stones in a pile each stone showing the people’s horror and disgust of the brutal deed.