Edinburgh's Royal Mile, an eclectic collection of fascinating historic buildings and architecture




                               (Above image is a capture of the Royal Mile from west to east.)

This afternoon, I am focusing on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, a popular visitor site in Scotland's capital city with many and varied places of interest.

The Royal Mile is a partly pedestrianised thoroughfare which comprises a succession of streets in the Old Town and stretches between Edinburgh Castle (top) and the Palace of Holyroodhouse (bottom).

Summary information on particular sites and places of interest is provided below.


Edinburgh Castle, dominating the Edinburgh skyline.


The top visitor attraction in Edinburgh. The castle, which is built on an ancient volcanic plug, was first recorded in the 11th century with the present structure evolving over subsequent centuries. Features include:
  • One O’Clock Gun.
  • St. Margaret’s Chapel (1076).
  • Mons Meg Cannon (1449)
  • Half Moon Battery (1574).
  • Crown Room wherein is kept Scotland’s Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone.
  • Scottish National War Memorial.
Deacon Brodie’s Tavern


This pub commemorates one Deacon Brodie (1741-1788) a leading Edinburgh citizen who lived a double life and was the inspiration for R.L. Stevenson’s work, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
 
Parliament Square

Close to St Giles Cathedral. Home of original Scottish Parliament until formation of the United Kingdom in 1707. Now used by the Scottish legal profession. Visitors can still inspect the former Parliament chamber in Parliament Hall although access is not advertised.

In the Square can be seen an equine statue of King Charles II (1630-1685) who became King of England, Scotland and Ireland upon restoration of the monarchy in 1660. The statue dates from 1685.

Equine statue of King Charles II in Parliament Square, Edinburgh.



Mercat Cross in Parliament Square. This has a long history dating back to 1365. Erected in current position 1885 with part of original 14th century Cross incorporated in shaft. Function was a central meeting point for the business community and a place where official communications were read out.


St Giles Cathedral

St. Giles Cathedral or High Kirk of Edinburgh. Present building dates from 14th/15th centuries but on an ancient Christian site dating from 9th century. A Presbyterian church since 1688. Inside is the Thistle Chapel dating from 1911.Usually open to visitors.



Inside St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland.



Video clip of Chapel of Knights of the Thistle, Scotland’s chief order of chivalry.

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Example of 17th century architecture at 189 Canongate, one of earliest high-rise buildings in Scotland. A restored tenement building.



Famous, World’s End Pub. So named because it sat at boundary wall of old medieval town beyond which inhabitants rarely ventured.



John Knox House, 43-45 High Street


This is constructed of two traditional houses built in the 15th century. An outstanding example of an Edinburgh townhouse of the period. John Knox was a leading figure in the Protestant Reformation of 1560. Now a museum and open to the public.

View of Royal Mile through window at John Knox House.

 
Canongate Tolbooth (1591)

Former courthouse, burgh jail and meeting place, since converted to a museum.



Dunbar Close Garden. a garden laid out in the style of a the 17th century.



Chessels Court, Canongate.

Dates from 1748 and is of architectural merit.



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Canongate Kirk.

Built in 1688 to replace Holyrood Abbey as a place of public worship.


Interior of Canongate Kirk


Scottish Parliament Building

This is located foot of Royal Mile.Opened in September 2004. Designed by Spanish architects Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue in partnership with RMJM Scotland. Open to visitors.




Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Initiated 16th century but much of structure dates from the time of Charles II, 1671-76. Still used as a Royal residence today. Located opposite the Scottish Parliament.Usually open to the public.


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