West Parliament Square|High Street|Royal Mile|Edinburgh
West Parliament Square High Street Royal Mile Edinburgh is the Square on the west of St Giles Cathedral. A statue of the 5th Duke of Buccleuch stands in the middle with the houses of Parliament, Signet library, St Giles Cathedral (west entrance) and the County Building on three sides. In the cobbles are the Heart of Midlothian, dates on cobbles near the statue and brass cobbles showing the outline of the old Tolbooth. Above the the door to St Giles Cathedral are statues of kings and bishops.
The Duke of Buccleuch|West Parliament Square|High Street|Royal Mile Edinburgh
The statue of Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott or Walter Scott not to be mistaken with Sir Walter Scott the writer (1806 – 1884) the 5th Duke of Buccleuch and the 7th Duke of Queensbury was erected in West Parliament Square Edinburgh High Street in 1888. The Duke of Buccleuch was born in Dalkeith House Midlothian and was a very wealthy land baron. He became the Duke on the death of his father at the age of 13. He was knighted in 1835 and served in Prime Minister Peel’s government in the 1840s. There is still a Duke of Buccleuch to this day, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch and the 12th Duke of Queensbury lives in Drumlanrig Castle. He is also the Chief of Clan Scott. Drumlanrig Castle is home to the world renowned Buccleuch Art collection. The Castle and Estate can be found south of Sanquhar in Dumfriesshire off the A76.
The Signet Library building was completed in 1822 for the historic visit to Edinburgh and Scotland of King George IV. On his visit he described the upper library as “the finest drawing room in Europe”. The Signet library is the home of the Society of Writers to her Majesty’s Signet an association of Scottish lawyers. Which is believed to be the oldest professional society in the world. The earliest recorded use of the Signet was in 1369.
Special Cobbles with dates in West Parliament Square High Street Royal Mile Edinburgh
There are two sets of cobbles in West Parliament Square one set has dates 1386, 1610 and 1678 in the Cobbles beside the statue of 5th Duke of Buccleuch. the other set are near the Heart of Midlothian cobbles with dates 1386, 1430, 1610. The date 1386 represents The rebuild of St Giles and the Tolbooth after Richard II had Burnt Edinburgh in 1385. In 1610 an extension was built to the tolbooth for prisoners. In 1678 a further extension was built to the tolbooth where an older part had been previously demolished. The only historic fact that I can relate 1430 to is on the 16th October 1430, James I of Scotland son was born at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh later to become James II.
Heart of Midlothian Royal Mile High Street Edinburgh
The Heart of Midlothian is a heart-shaped mosaic built into the pavement next to St Giles on the High Street. Together with brass markers set into the pavement, it records the position of the 15th-century Old Tolbooth demolished in 1817, which was the administrative centre of the town, the prison and one of several sites of public execution. Some people spit on the heart. Although it is now said to be done for good luck, it was originally done as a sign of disdain for the former prison. The brass cobbles mark where the Tolbooth stood.
Lothian Chambers Parliament Square Royal Mile Edinburgh
The Lothian Chambers Building was built in 1904 and was used for the administration of Midlothian Council. The building is now used as a venue for marriages. On the corner of the building at the Lawnmarket is a plaque showing the place where the last person in Edinburgh was hanged. A man in his early 30’s battered and slit the throat of a 23-year-old girl in a crime of passion. The brass cobbles in the street show where the gallows were.
Plaque and Cobbles on County Building (Lothian Chambers) Edinburgh
LAST PUBLIC EXECUTION The plaque and cobbles show the place where the gallows stood and the site of the last man to hang in public in Edinburgh. The site of the gallows is marked by the three brass plates set at the edge of the pavement. Near to the site of the Edinburgh Tolbooth. George Bryce the Ratho murderer was executed her on the 21st June 1864 the last public execution in Edinburgh. The first public execution from the same gallows was on 1 October 1788, William (Deacon) Brodie. The gallows William (Deacon) Brodie had designed and funded the year before.
LAST PUBLIC EXECUTION IN EDINBURGH
St Giles Cathedral Royal Mile High Street Edinburgh
There are records that show a parish church being in Edinburgh in 854 A.D. The parish church of Edinburgh was formally dedicated by the bishop of St Andrews on 6 October 1243. The parish church of Edinburgh was Subsequently deconsecrated and named in honour of the patron saint of Edinburgh, St Giles. St Giles a Greek Holy man who settled in the south of France in the 7th century and was said to be associated with the early Frankish Kings, in particular Charles Martel (688–741). St Giles is seen in the carving above the west door of St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh (pictured below). St Giles is said to have stopped a hunter’s arrow with his hand and saved a deer. There are many stories of St Giles and his miracles throughout history. St Giles later became the patron saint of both Edinburgh and the Cathedral now known as St Giles Cathedral. St Giles died on the 1st September 721 A.D
Above the entrance doorway of St Giles Cathedral are a number of small statues of Kings and Bishops for full details go to the link https://lothianandborders.com/high-street-royal-mile-edinburgh/ this links to all the attractions of the High Street Royal Mile.