Morningside Edinburgh , Hermitage of The Braids, Blackford Hill and Braid Hills
Morningside Edinburgh area was once rolling fields and forest where the king would go hunting. Morningside Edinburgh was at one time a village with a number of Cottages and became popular with the wealthy of Edinburgh as a summer retreat. At the top of the hill stood Merchiston Tower the home of the Napier family at the edge of the burghmuir.
John Napier of Merchiston Morningside Edinburgh
John Napier was a great inventor and Mathematician lived in the Napier Tower Morningside Edinburgh. Napier Tower was built by Alexander Napier the second Laird of Merchiston around 1454. John Napier the 8th Laird of Merchiston was born here in 1550. John Napier is best known as the discoverer of logarithms (Napier’s bones) in 1614. The bones can be seen in the Scottish National Museum. John Napier also appears to have been the first to intentionally use the frenetic period as a decimal separator in his book Rabdologia published in 1617. Also found in the same book was reference to Napier’s bones, numbered rods which were used to perform multiplication and division of any number, also useful in navigation and astronomy. Napier Technical College was opened in 1964 named after John Napier and in 2009 became Edinburgh Napier University. Napier Tower serves as the seat for Clan Napier and stands on the Napier University campus in Colinton Road Morningside Edinburgh. The Bust is now on show in the main reception in Napier University reception Morningside Edinburgh.
Clan Napier Crest Morningside Edinburgh
The Clan Napier Crest can be found above the main entrance of The Napier Tower in the Napier University campus in Colinton Road Edinburgh. The clan Coat of Arms are only allowed to be used by the clan chieftain.
THE CLAN CREST IS: A dexter cubit arm, the hand grasping a Crescent Argent with birds holding the Clan Chiefs coat of arms.
NAPIER FAMILY MOTTO The meaning of SANSTACHE a French word is (WITHOUT STAIN).
The Hanging of Thomas Kelly and Henry O’Neil Morningside Edinburgh
Edinburgh‘s passion for executing the guilty can be seen in the many places around the Edinburgh streets where executions took place, e.g. The Grassmarket, High Street, Castlehill and Canongate to name a few. The main three punishments were burning at the stake, hanging and the guillotine, always with large audiences in attendance. In some instances gallows were erected on the site of the incident as in the case of the Highwaymen Thomas Kelly and Henry O’Neil two Irish immigrants who robbed a traveller David Loch on his way to Edinburgh and were sentenced to death by hanging (January 1815). Thomas Kelly and Henry O’Neil were taken to the place of execution where temporary Gibbets had been erected on the site of the robbery and they hung side by side for their crime. The site can be seen in Braid Road Edinburgh 200 metres from the corner at Morningside Station where the two Squares marked in the road and a plaque on the pavement outside 66 Braid Road Edinburgh donate where the gallows stood.
The Buckstane Morningside Edinburgh
The Buck Stane stands at just over 1.00m high by 0.38m at its widest and is 0.28m thick. It stands against a garden wall in a small alcove near the south end of Braid Road. The stone has an information plaque which can be seen on the wall. Tradition associates the Buck Stane with the Barony of Penicuik and the royal hunts on the Borough-Muir. The plaque also says that the stone marks the spot where the buckhounds were let loose when the King of Scotland hunted in the region.
The wording on the plaque reads; This march stone a relic of feudal times | occupied a commanding site | on the old roman road about 250 | yards north from this spot | by tradition the name was | derived from the stone having | marked the place where the buckhounds | were unleashed when the king of | Scotland hunted in this region.
Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Wall Tablet Morningside Edinburgh
The wall tablet is to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 60 years on the throne in 1897. Look up on the wall just above the shops, up from the Taxi rank in Morningside Road, the plaque is just above a street light.
The Bore Stone Morningside Edinburgh
The only folklore associated with this site relates to James IV before the battle of Flodden in 1513 when it is alleged that the Royal Standard was pitched in or on the stone when it lay on the Borough Muir nearby. The Bore Stone stands on a pedestal built into the boundary wall of Morningside Parish Church in Morningside Edinburgh. The surface of the stone displays numerous cup-like markings, none of which are believed to be anything other than natural. After the battle the city wall was built to protect Edinburgh from the English Army.
The Bore Stone Plaque
In which the royal standard was last | pitched for the muster of the Scottish | army on the Borough-Muir before the | Battle of Flodden | 1513 | It long lay in the adjoining field, was then | built into the wall near this spot, and finally | placed here by Sir John Stuart Forbes | of Pitsligo Bart. | 1852 | Highest and midmost was described | The Royal Banner floating wide. | The staff, a pine tree strong and straight | Pitch’d deeply in a massive stone. | Which still in memory is shown. | Yet bent beneath the standard’s weight. | Marmion.
Royal Edinburgh Asylum Morningside Edinburgh
The Royal Edinburgh Hospital was a plan of Dr Andrew Duncan who attended to the poet Robert Fergusson until his death in Bedlam, the Edinburgh Asylum at Bristo Place Edinburgh. He was so taken by the nature of Fergusson’s illness he petitioned parliament for funds to open a hospital to look after the mentally ill.
Funds were received in 1806, and Andrew Duncan purchased a house and land in Morningside The building of The Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum was started in 1809 under Royal Charter and opened in 1813. Originally for fee paying patients only but later in 1842 the poor were admitted for no charge. When the Bedlam Asylum closed in 1844 the patients were transferred to Morningside. The Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum was renamed The Royal Edinburgh Hospital in 1922. A Clinic opened in 1965 named after Andrew Duncan.
ANDREW DUNCAN born St Andrew’s 1744 Died Edinburgh 1828 and is buried in the Apse Church in Chapel Street Edinburgh. One of the world’s forgotten greats he was first to lecture in forensic medicine in Britain and published many journals on medicine. Thought to be the the founder of Mental Health in Britain.
The memorial is to honour the few in their pursuit of helping the mentally ill on the centenary of the death of Phillipe Pinel unveiled 1931.
Phillipe Pinel 1745-1826, French physician. And known as “the father of modern psychiatry”.
Dorothea Dix 1802-1887, Dorothea Lynde Dix was born America in 1802 and fought for the rights of the insane that had been incarcerated in prisons rather than being treated in hospitals(asylums)for their mental health problems she help open over 30 hospitals for the mentally ill.
William Tuke 1732-1822, A Quaker in 1796 opened the York Retreat sanctuary for Quakers with mental illness.
Florence Nightingale 1820-1910, nurse. Florence Nightingale was born in 1820, in Florence, Italy and died at home in London in 1920 she is known as the founder of nursing.
Robert Gardiner Hill 1811-1878, Surgeon in mental Health who had restraints and the locking up of patients abolished.
Campbell Clark 1852-1901
Morningside Park Morningside Edinburgh
Morningside Park off Balcarres Street in Morningside is an area of grass and wildflowers that were planted by local school children. In the park can be found a children’s play area with swings climbing frame slide and open area for games and a tennis court. There is a pleasant seating area for contemplation or reading a book. There is also a sculpture of Owls carved out of wood.
The Caiy Stane Morningside Edinburgh
The Caiy Stane is located at the side of the walkway on the west side of Caiystane View, a short distance from the junction of Oxgangs Road, Edinburgh. The stone is red sandstone and stands 9 feet 3 inches high (2.75m) with a breadth of 5 foot 9 inches (1.60m). A row of six cup marks can be seen on the back of the prehistoric stone. The stone may have been erected before 3000 BC, as early as the Neolithic period, probably to denote a ritual or burial place. Records of cairns, cists and urns found in the immediate vicinity show that the hilltop continued to be used for burial in the Bronze Age. Discovery of these remains led to the supposition that Caiyside Hill was the site of a battle, suggested to have involved invading Romans, Danes (Vikings) or Cromwellians. The Caiy Stane (Kel Stane), Cat Stane or Camus Stane, was thought to have been a battle memorial stone.
Hermitage House, Hermitage of the Braids Morningside Edinburgh
Old Hermitage House is where the Headquarter of the City of Edinburgh Countryside Natural Heritage Service has a Visitor Centre. The first recorded owner of the area was the son of a Belgian knight called De Brad, in the 12th Century. The forest and hills were a popular place for hunting deer and Boar. The Braid Burn runs through the area. In 1937, the Hermitage was given to the people of Edinburgh city as a public park by the owner. The Hermitage House was built circa 1780. The mansion houses of the time would store there perishable food in ice houses. The ice house was filled with ice to keep the food fresh in the summer.
The Do’cot was a place the occupants of the manor house could get fresh meat. As the pigeons were the source of fresh meat all year round. The walled garden would be stocked with vegetables, potatoes and herbs.
The Hermitage of the Braids Forrest would have had Wild Boar, Rabbit, Pheasant and Dear for hunting.
The Blackford Hill and Braid Hill Morningside Edinburgh
The Blackford Hill is a nature reserve and can provide the whole family with many interesting things to do. There is a children’s play area and a pond that has many different birds (swans, geese and ducks and many more). Explore the hill and visit the Royal Observatory and see the stars in the sky. Follow the Braid Burn for some 2 miles or climb to the top (540 feet) for a great view of the city and coast. The main entrance is on Charterhall Road, you can also gain access from Observatory Road or Braid Road. Follow the Braid Burn through to the Hermitage at Morningside where it is a short walk to the Braid Hills, where the Braid Golf Course is situated. The Braid golf course is where the professional golfer Thomas Armour played as a boy before immigrating to America.
Blackford Hill Observatory
The first Observatory in Edinburgh was founded in 1776 on Calton Hill by Thomas Short and was demolished in 1850 and moved to Castle Hill, the building where the Camera Obscura is now. The Gothic Tower was used for several years as the site of a new observatory before the City Observatory was built in 1818. In 1822 it became the Royal Observatory and moved to Blackford Hill in 1896 where it still stands. It has been a world leader in astronomy from then to this day.
Thomas Armour Morningside Edinburgh
Thomas Armour after the First World War moved to the U.S. and as a professional golfer won over 20 professional championships which included The US Open, The PGA Championship, The British Open and was three times Canadian Open champion. Western Golf Club founded in 1899 and based at the Braid Hills golf course which opened in 1889 was where Tommy Armour first joined a golf club in 1912 and his first competition win was in 1913 on the Braids golf course.
The Forgotten Great British Golfer Thomas Dickson Armour
THOMAS (Tommy) ARMOUR 1896 – 1968 Scotland’s most successful golfer was born at 18 Balcarres Street in Morningside and first played golf at the Braid Hills and Bruntsfield Links. Free golf is still available at Bruntsfield Links, where royalty played in the 1400s. Bruntsfield Links was the course where many golf clubs started. The Burghers or now known as The Royal Burgess, the oldest golf club in the world and The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (Muirfield) where the original 13 rules of golf were first written. At first there were only 5 rules.
Jesus Christ of the Latter – Day Saints Morningside Edinburgh
Arthur’s Seat is where the apostle Orsan Pratt of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when in Edinburgh would climbed to the top of the hill and look down on the city and pray for converts to his church. Orsan Pratt was one of the leaders of his church and travelled the world recruiting converts and it was in 1840 he recruited in Edinburgh.
Craiglockhart Castle Tower
All that remains of the Tower a ruin of a 4 floored tower with walls 5 foot thick. It is unknown who built it but the first land owners were the Lockhart’s of Lea in the 12th century. However it is thought that the Kincaid family lived there during the reign of James the VI in the late 1500s. The Lochart’s or Kincaid’s who knows.
Old Craig House Morningside Edinburgh
A property has stood here since circa 1160 and burnt down circa 1540. The rebuild too place by the new owners Symsons of Craighouse. The lintel above the entrance, which is dated 1565 gives the date of the new construction by Symsons.
The Coat of arms above the original entrance to Old Craig House is of the Elphinstone family, Sir James Elphinstone and his wife Dame Cecilia Denholm, their names are inscribed on the scroll under the shield. Sir James Elphinstone married Cecilia Denholm in 1673 Cecilia Denholm died 1706 and James in 1722. Later extension to the house was added in 1746 by his son John who now owned the property. Inherited from Thomas who murdered his wife and then committed suicide. His wife is said to haunt the house to this day. Other owners were the Burton family see more below.
William Kinnimond Burton Engineer, Photographer 1856 – 1899
Old Craig House built circa 1565 was the mansion of the Kincaids and have had many owners. The Burton family circa 1830. The house has been haunted by a ghost called the Green Lady. The house can be found in part of the old Craig house campus of Napier University.
William Kinnimond Burton’s family home was Old Craig House for decades before selling in 1878. William’s father was a writer and historian of note and was the author of many books which included “history of Scotland”. In 1877 he was invited by the Meiji Government of Japan to become the first Professor of Sanitary Engineering and lecturer in Rivers, Docks and Harbours at the Imperial University of Tokyo. He designed new water and drainage systems for Tokyo, (population of one and a half million), and many other towns and cities in Japan and Taiwan. He also designed Japan’s first skyscraper, ‘Ryounkaku’, in Tokyo. William Kinnimond Burton became an icon of modern Japan. He died on 5 August, 1899 at the age of 43. An impressive tombstone was built in the Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo. To this day, people still gather for an annual ceremony to lay flowers on his grave and sing Scottish folk songs. An accomplished photographer he had a book ABC of Modern Photography published in 1882. Burton helped form the Photographic Society of Japan in 1890.
New Craighouse Hospital Edinburgh
Craig House Hospital was a psychiatric hospital
New Craig House is situated higher up the hill from Old Craig House and was built as a private psychiatric hospital in Morningside Edinburgh. Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum, purchase the Craig House estate in Edinburgh in 1878 from the Burton’s. The new Craig House Hospital was created within the estate like a luxury Hotel rather than a hospital for paying patients. The Old Craig House was used as a hospital. It is now modern private residence.