In the Beginning, Edinburgh Castle History
Edinburgh Castle history, most noteworthy, the Castle Rock was formed over 300 million years ago by volcanic eruptions. The first evidence of inhabitants on the Edinburgh Castle Rock was in the Bronze Age circa 1500 BC. Due to evidence of an Iron Age fort being unearthed dated circa 90 BC.
Edinburgh Castle First Writings
The first writings about a fortress on Edinburgh Castle Rock circa 600 AD was in a poem called “Gododdin”. This certainly tells of the Gododdin, a race of warriors who lived in the south-east of Scotland and north-east of England. They left the fortress of Din Eiden (Edinburgh) and went from the castle to do battle with the Angles of Northumbria. The Gododdin were wiped out and the Angles of Northumbria took control of the area. Next came Malcolm II who took over control of the area in 1016 at the Battle of Carham. Furthermore he extended the borders of Scotland to the River Tweed as Northumbria had covered lands as far as the River Forth.
Edinburgh Castle History
Edinburgh Castle originally built of wood and later by stone, by Malcolm III circa 1070 and then fortified and extended in stone by King David I circa 1130 including the building of a small Chapel for his mother Margaret, which is now the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh Castle. As a result a settlement soon emerged around the Castlehill slop. Consequently over time the road extended to where St Mary Street is now at the end of the High Street. Only a few houses were built on the north side of the hill as it was a severe slop and difficult to build on. In contrast on the south side in the valley a small group of hamlets were built. This area was used as a market place to sell livestock and food, this is now known as the Grassmarket.
Over many years many invaders took control of Edinburgh Castle. Battle after battle ensued that would define Scotland. Consequently a wall was built that surrounded Edinburgh. Hence a wall was built to the south, east and west. Finally a Loch was formed to the North which gave the Castle and settlement 360 degree protection from invaders.
The Irish in Edinburgh
In contrast the next major change to Edinburgh came with the plight of the Irish in 1740, the Edinburgh area almost doubled in population from 60,000 to 100,000. As the area could not sustain the large influx of people the king decided to have a new town built.
Edinburgh New Town
The New Town started with the building of the North Bridge. It spanning the Nor Loch to the land in the north at Multrees Hill. Then the Nor Loch was drained, the process began in 1763 and a canal was built so the loch could empty. In 1767 the first house were built in the new town and the city of Edinburgh has extended slowly ever since. The port area of Leith which was to the north of Edinburgh became part of Edinburgh in 1920. Now Edinburgh has approximately 500,000 occupants living over 120 square miles. The Royal Mile was finally given its name in 1901 as a result of the road that was used by the Royals to travel from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood House.
Links to all parts of the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle to Arthur Seat.