Edinburgh Castle showing the position of the small public entrance (centre of the photograph) which leads from the esplanade. Not visible is a discreet vehicle entrance for staff For a virtual guided tour of the Castle use this link to go to the 'Sketchfab' site. A closer view of the entrance and esplanade - except that here they are hidden under banks of seating These are erected each year for the Military Tattoo, and accommodate some eight and half thousand people for every performance Entering the Castle is something I had never done. Although born in Edinburgh, and worked much of my life there, my lack of interest in matters military is such that visitors were always waved off in the general direction of the castle, it's hard to miss, sometimes with relief that they would be entertained for a couple of hours without any effort on my part. However, to have pages showing something of Edinburgh and yet nothing of, or from, the Castle, seemed remiss. These photographs, taken from within its confines, are all from a recent visit aimed at redressing this omission. Inevitably some viewers may feel it is too particular a selection, indeed it ignores the military aspects of the building which are after all the castle's raison d'être. However, two more pages are to follow, maybe opportunity will arise, maybe... The entrance crosses over a onetime drawbridge For 10 months of the year the esplanade looks like this - maybe a little more deserted than usual due to
Covid restrictions being in operations
How the visitor views the defended entrance and...
...the defender's view of the (missing) visitor
Having entered that first gate, a path leads between wall and rock to another strong defence...
...in the form of the Portcullis Gate offering dual protection.
The building over the Portcullis gate is the Argyle Tower, here seen from the Argle Battery. The staircase runs up to the upper-most level of the Castle...
...Looking down from the top of that staircase
The emplacement of cannons along the Argyle Battery, and (right) a video clip of what they see
From the Argyle Battery a broad way curves upwards. Diverting to the left is the war museum, and this view...
...looking out between the buildings over Butts Battery with the Episcopal Cathedral's spires at Edinburgh's West End
A video clip of the view from Butts Battery. From the Pentland hills moving round to the red stone of the Caledonian Hotel
The sentry boxes at the entrance to the courtyard which sits below Butts Battery...
...those sentry boxes - seeming gateposts
The Scottish National War Museum - Earl Haig on horseback
Having diverted for Butts Battery, the hill continues up to the New Barracks. Here offering Georgian elegance as a backdrop for these visitors, eagerly capturing their visit
Externally (elegance lost) the New Barracks from the south of the city. They were added in the 1790s to accommodate 600 soldiers and remain in use for military purposes.
The view of Foog's Gate that those visitors were trying to catch. This gate dates from the seventeenth century and affords access...
...to the uppermost area of the Castle. This last gated wall has slits giving command of the New Barracks below
The top level of the Castle (Upper Ward) to which Foog's gate gives access, centres on the National War Memorial with the reservoirs and St Margaret's Chapel on its northern side, and the Great Hall, Royal Palace and military museum towards the south.
Coming through Foog's Gate and looking south: to the left is the War memorial building, and at the centre the
Royal Scots Museum
Looking in the other direction, the walls of the reservoir and St Margaret's Chapel frame the unavoidable
Scottish Whisky Experience Shoppe
The Pentland Hills reach the edge of Edinburgh City and form a fine boundary to the prospect, seen here from just above Foog's gate (bottom right of photo)
The Scottish National War Memorial rockery is beside...
...its building, of which these are the west windows
The Royal Palace stands at one end of the Half Moon Battery...
...and next to one of its cannons stands Terry, who normally has to help shepherd around 8,000 visitors a day through these narrow spaces. A number which has risen to the record of about 14,000 in one day. The peaceful pleasure of chatting to knowledgeable assistants, when only a couple of hundred people are visiting, makes the high price of entry well worth while. And so down the stairs and out of the castle. The next two pages will offer a little more on, the not to be overlooked, St Margaret's Chapel and the Great Hall, but, yes, first to those cannons
The Half Moon Battery looks east across the town,
over the esplanade and Ramsay Terrace...
...past St. Columba's Free Church towards The Tron,
Arthur's Seat and the sea
Picture Posting page
has more on those cannons: less weapons of war - more aesthetic objects
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Hexagons'.
Or go to the
Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
of the Mosaic Section.