Edinburgh - Arthur's Seat

A view of Salisbury Crags and Artur's Seat from the southwest. Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags (to the left) dominate Edinburgh, forming a striking feature of the landscape for 30 miles (50 kilometres) in all directions Previous pages have treated Edinburgh Castle as the city's centre and focus, but that is not how many citizens see their home. For them Arthur's Seat performs a pivotal role. The origins of the name are debated inconclusively, but we do know that the area of Arthur's Seat, Salisbury Crags and Duddingston, which had been a royal hunting preserve for some 400 years was, in 1541, enclosed by James V with a wall, and designated a Royal Park. Ownership is now, as so often in Scotland, hidden and complex. However, the public has long enjoyed this accessible and special place. It affords views that are surely unrivalled for their combination of a rich city-scape, estuary, open sea and countryside stretching to the hills. This page offers some views of, and from, the hill taken over a period of 40 years - accordingly the quality varies somewhat. A little information on geology and history is included in the captions. A large house appears isolated against a backdrop of rocks and crags. Opulence, in the form of Prestonfield House and the tower of the North British Hotel, here appear separated by Salisbury Crags A view of the hill from the west. From the west a view of Arthur's Seat includes the Castle and the three spired cathedral. The hill was formed about 340 million years ago by a series of volcanoes, some very explosive. The present hilltop would have been deep in the centre of these, weathering and ice flows have created the present appearance Cylindrical building and rough ground, Arthur's seat beyond. Arthur's Seat from beside the Royal Observatory which moved here, near the King's Buildings, from Calton Hill in the late 1800s Path lined with benches, trees beyond and Arthur's Seat framed by them. A wide angle lens emphasises the seats in the grounds of the Botanic Gardens from where a fine cityscape includes Arthur's Seat Tower block backed by the Salisbury Crags. To balance the opulence, indicated in the shot higher up the page, here a wider angle includes part of the Craigmillar housing scheme Space below hill seen through winter trees. The grass area below the Crags is adjacent to the Dumbiedykes scheme. The grass here providing a valuable outdoor space - less enticing in the winter! Buildings and Arthur's Seat seen across an open grassed park. Seen from the Meadows, with university buildings to the left, the common 'crouching lion' sobriquet is barely discernible. Arthur's Seat is just over 800 feet high (250 metres) raising it well above all ground within 10 miles or so. The Royal Park, of which it is the centre piece, extends to some 640 acres (260 ha) Silhouetted figures by a cairn with pin-point sun through clouds. Sun rising from a cloud bank over the sea as summer night owls go home, taking a detour via the cairn on the summit of Arthur's Seat Sun over sea with buildings below and loch visible in the foreground. The sun climbs to show the buildings of Portobello and the water of Dunsapie Loch Sun higher now fully lighting the water. The cold light of dawn warms up the sea... Part of further coast line visible. ...and the coastline - with Cockenzie power station just visible Ducks on and above wate in misty twilight. Duddingston Loch and its winter inhabitants Building reflected in pool with part of hill behind. ...(above) the near-by artificial pool at the Scottish Widows building which reflects St Leonard's Hall and the rump of Arthur's Seat Part of village and kirk with water on on sides. Looking down on Duddingston Kirk and Loch from the hill. A view of water in the Park is also supplied by Dunsapie and St. Margaret's Lochs, and... Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat with the city laid out below them. A full panorama taken from Blackford Hill to the south west of the city. The Crags are brought into prominence from this angle. They are younger than the hill, being formed from underground volcanic material that could not make it to the surface, so trapped, it spread out, this happened about 320 million years ago, later it tilted 90 degrees to give the wall effect we now see Team of sky divers with flares against clouds. Such an open space, as the Royal Park, allows displays of all kinds Team of sky divers with flares forming pattern. These sky divers end their performance in the Park... Team of sky divers with flares moving left-wards across sky. Team of sky divers with flares moving right-wards across sky. Sky divers parachuting down-wards above calton Hill. Tents and people around area beside the Palace with some sky divers landing, others following down. ...and with extraordinary accuracy hit the space provided adjacent to Holyrood Palace. Above which sits calton Hill, and to the left of the photograph the North British Hotel
(now sadly only another 'Balmoral')
Many dozen kites attached to a line extending upwards. Kite flying in the Park is regularly fashionable; surely this is prize winning Entrance gates and end of building. The main entrance of the Park's Royal Residence Palace with suburbs spreading to the sea, islet beyond. Holyrood Palace sits at the north west of the Park. Here Leith and Inchkeith are seen beyond the Palace Evening light on calton Hill, Arthur's Seat beyond. A final long shot of evening light on the hill, with a rather brutalist late 60s St. James Centre
muscling in to the right. Happily its short mediocre life has now ended.
The picture foregrounds Calton Hill, the subject of the next page
Trailers... Calton Hill in evening light. The next page in Picture Posting is about Edinburgh's Calton Hill and the Beltane Festival. Statue of Confucius in the Temple of Literature in Ha Noi. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Hexagrams'.
Or go to the contents Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section. of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 23rd October 2021 Murphy on duty ...guide to this site

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