Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh Close’s and Courts

The Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh is the first street of the Royal Mile, where only 6 Close names remain. Castlehill once had many residents in many Close’s and Courts. Blair’s Close, Webster’s Close, Hyndford’s House, Duke of Gordon’s House and the Palace of Mary of Guise which can still be seen the first building on the north side of Castlehill from the Lawnmarket.

Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh Sign

Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh Attractions and History 

Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh has a number of places you can visit and a few things of historic interest which can all be seen below. There is a street off The Royal Mile Castlehill which is Ramsay Lane Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh EH1 2NA which has Ramsay Garden Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh EH1 2NA, in it and at No.1 Ramsay Lane the first Ragged School opened by Dr Guthrie. The Steps on the right as you come down from the Castle Esplanade is Castle Wynd North Steps which lead to Johnston Terrace and a further set of steps, Castle Wynd South Steps which take you to the Grassmarket area. Castlehill Edinburgh is a short road that begins at the Castle Esplanade and ends at the Tolbooth Kirk. The Gothic spire being the highest point in central Edinburgh constructed between 1842 and 1845, now the headquarters International Festival society. The other attractions in the street are the; Camera Obscura & World of Illusions, (One of the oldest tourist attractions in the city), Cannonball House, Its name derived from the cannonball, embedded in the outside wall of the house. Witches Well, where over 300 witches were burned at the stake. The Scottish Whisky Experience, where you can see how whisky is made and try one of the many whiskies available. The Scottish Weaving Mill previously the reservoir for Edinburgh, now a retail outlet with the best selection of Scottish goods available, also see tartan being made on the only working looms in the city. 

 Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

The Witches Well Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

The Witches Well Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh found in a corner on the wall of the Scottish Weaving Mill. Witches Well Edinburgh is the site, situated at the top of Castlehill on the west wall of The Tartan Weaving Mill is where an iron wall fountain commemorates the place where over three hundred women were burned at the stake, accused of being witches in the 16th Century. There were more Witch burning carried out at Castlehill than anywhere else in Europe. The inscription reads: The fountain designed by John Duncan R.S.A. is near the site on which many witches were burned at the stake. The wicked head and serene head signify that some used their exceptional knowledge for evil purposes while others were misunderstood and wished their kind nothing but good. The serpent has the duel significance of evil and wisdom. The foxglove spray further emphasises the dual purpose of many common objects.

 Witches Well Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh   Royal Mile Castlehill Witches Well Plaque

 The Tartan Weaving Mill (The Edinburgh Reservoir) Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

The Tartan Weaving Mill Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh, is an opportunity to see the full story of kilt making, from the wool on the sheep via the weaving of the tartan cloth to the making of the kilt. Try out the weaving loom for yourself, or dress up in ancient Scottish costume for a souvenir photograph. The picture shows the Tartan Weaving Mill from Ramsay Garden and a sword that would have been used at the time of William Wallace. A reservoir was first built on this site as early as 1675. This was later demolished in 1849 to make way for the present structure The Tartan Weaving Mill.

 The Tartan Weaving Mill from Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh and The Tartan Weaving Mill from Ramsay Garden Royal Mile Edinburgh

Tartan Weaving Mill Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh from Castlehill    Royal Mile Castlehill Tartan Weaving Mill from Ramsay Garden

  Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh Castle Wynd North 

Castle Wynd North Steps Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh, the picture of the steps is taken from Johnston Terrace looking up to the Castlehill and the entrance to the Castle esplanade. Look for the cannonball in the wall of Cannonball House on the right. When looking up the steps from the Grassmarket to Johnston Terrace are known as Patrick Geddes Steps. Take a walk down the Castle Wynd South steps and the gate on the right is entry to a Scottish Wildlife Trust Garden and the Chapel site. 

 Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh North Wynd  Castle Wynd North StepsRoyal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

 Cannonball House Close Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh  

Cannonball House Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh can you spot the cannon ball embedded in the wall. The story is that the cannon ball was carefully placed here by engineers to mark the height above sea-level of the fresh springs which provided Edinburgh with its first piped supply of fresh water, in about 1621. The cannon ball can be seen embedded in the wall above the first-floor window in Castle Wynd North. On the opposite side where the Tartan Weaving Mill is now, was the site of a reservoir that served the well heads in the old town of Edinburgh. In 1991 the reservoir was no longer required and is now conserved as the Edinburgh Tartan Weaving Mill.

 Cannonball House Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh    Royal mile Castlehill Cannonball House Wall Tablet   Royal Mile Castlehill cannonball In wall of house Castle Wynd North Steps

 Ramsay Lane First Ragged School 1841 Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

First Ragged School in Scotland is in Ramsay Lane Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh was the site of the first Ragged School in Scotland and was founded by Dr Thomas Guthrie in 1847. Ragged Schools were free education for poor and homeless children. There is a Ragged School museum in London. THE SCULPTURED BIBLE above the door of 1 Ramsay Lane is inscribed with the words “search the scriptures” “ST JOHN V S V 39”

 Ragged School Ramsay Lane Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh  Ramsay Lane Ragged School Bible Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

Ramsay Garden Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

Ramsay Lodge was where Allan Ramsay the poet lived in the 1700s. Later it was developed into 16 houses for student accommodation with a magnificent view of the New Town Edinburgh. They are now private residence. The Ramsay Garden houses are a prominent feature of Edinburgh with their red ashlars and white exteriors and were first built by Alan Ramsay in 1733. Can you see the Devil on the hot tin roof? Allan Ramsay’s original Goose pie octagonal shaped house can be found in the centre looking up from Princes Street.

 Ramsay Garden castlehill Edinburgh Allan Ramsay's House     Ramsay Garden Plaque Castle Hill Royal Mile Edinburgh These Buildings were constructed by Sir Patrick Geddes 1854 - 1932 around the house of Allan Ramsay The Poet 1686 - 1758 and his son Allan Ramsay the Painter 1713 - 1784

 

 Allan Ramsay's House Ramsay Garden Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh   Devil on roof Ramsay Garden

 

The Camera Obscura and World of Illusion Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh.

The Camera Obscura in Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh was one of the original tourist attractions in 1850’s Edinburgh, the first attraction being the Walter Scott Monument. The Camera Obscura gives an amazing live panoramic view of the city of Edinburgh. See the people in Edinburgh walking about the streets below and pick them up in your hand. The telescopes let you view amazing rooftop views of the city. It was named the Outlook Tower in 1892. Take a walk around the outside walkway at the top of the Tower for more amazing views.

 Camera Obscura Tower Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh  Camera Obscura Tower Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

 

Castlehill School Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

Castlehill Primary School Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh opened in 1889 and is now closed as a school. The front of the school can be seen from Johnston Terrace Edinburgh. It now houses The Scottish Whisky Experience which is entered from the Castlehill across from Ramsay Lane.

The Scottish Whisky Experience Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

The Scottish Whisky Experience Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh tells the story of the history of whisky making, from the stills in the hills to the world wide industry of today. See possibly the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky and the chance to taste the nectar of Scotland. The whisky experts will help you find the ideal whiskies for your individual taste in the McIntyre whisky gallery. There is also a chance to shop for the whisky you love. No driving afterwards. (Tasting over 18 years of age only).

 Johnston Terrace Castlehill School Now Whisky Experience  The Scotch Whisky Experience Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

 

 Semple’s Close Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

Semple's close Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

Semple’s Close Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh was named after the owner the Lords of Semple of Castle Semple (SEMPILL). The mansion was originally built for Lady Semple in 1638. Lord Hugh Semple Purchase a property next door to increase the size of his present residence in 1743 A military officer, Major in the Cameronians, Commander of the Black Watch and Colonel of the Edinburgh Regiment and commanded the left wing of the Hanoverian Army at Culloden. Inscription above door of Semple’s Mansion PRAISED BE THE LORD, MY GOD, MY STRENTH & MY REDEEMER  ANNO DOM 1638

  Semple's Close and Entrance Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh   Semple's Mansion Doorway Semple's Close Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh   Semple's Close Mansion Door Lintel with inscription Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

 

 Boswell’s Court Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

Boswell's Court Sign Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

Boswell’s Court Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh is the site of the famous Witchery Restaurant and Lodging. Named after Dr Boswell the owner, but it is said that the Earl of Boswell also resided here. What can be seen on a lintel over a door in the close is the inscription “O LORD IN THE IS AL MI TRAIST” 

 Boswell's Close and Court Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh  Boswell's Close Doorway with inscription Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh  Boswell Close Brass Plaque Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 Skinner’s Close Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

Skinners close Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

Skinner’s Close Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh was the original site of Fortunes tavern before moving Old Stamp Office Close then to Nicholson Square and finally to St Andrew’s Square. Fortune’s Tavern was a place for the well-heeled and gentlemen of Edinburgh. This  close was demolished to make way for the present building the Camera Obscura circa 1850.

Skinner's Close Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

Jollie’s Court and Close Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

Jollie’s Close Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh named after the land and building in Castlehill owned by Patrick Jollie, and later by Alexander Jollie who was a writer in 1859. Now part of the Witchery hotel apartments.

Jollie's Close Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

Mary of Guise Palace and Chapel Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

The first building you will walk past on the Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh is the site where Mary of Guise had her Palace (pictured). Mary of Guise was the daughter of Antoinette of Bourbon and Claud Count of Guise. Mary of Guise married King James V in 1538. They had a daughter born in Linlithgow Palace in 1542 and at a week old became the Queen of Scotland on her father’s death. Her name was Mary. (Mary Queen of Scots). Mary of Guise had her palace built as close to Edinburgh Castle as possible for safety. The building was also used as the Scottish Parliament in 1990’s. The Palace and Chapel stretched from Castlehill to where the New Library stands in Mound Place. 

Palace of Mary of Guise Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

  (Edinburgh International Festival Hub) Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh

The Edinburgh International Festival Hub stands at the foot of Royal Mile Castlehill Edinburgh. The Hub’s spire is the highest point in central Edinburgh. The building was constructed around 1845 as the Victoria Hall to house the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. In 1929 the Church of Scotland ceased to use the building and it became a temporary home for a variety of congregations. It was named the Highland Tolbooth and then St John’s Church in 1956 and finally closed in the early part of the 1980s. In 1999 the building was transformed into The Hub, offices and a performance space for the Edinburgh International Festival.  

 The Highest Point in Edinburgh The Hub Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh   The Hub Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh Blue Plaque   The Edinburgh International Festival Hub Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh

 

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