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Date December 2009 - September 2011

Event ID 993149

Category Recording

Type Excavation


NT 2530 7350 (centred on) A series of Scheduled Monument Consents (SMCs A–E) were granted, December 2009 – September 2011, for work associated with the design of new temporary stand for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

SMC A: Existing utilities were realigned or replaced to accommodate new stand foundations. These works revealed part of the Spur, a triangular artillery fortification built in the 1540s and demolished in 1650. Part of a second boundary-type wall was revealed to the NE of the Spur and this overlay an infilled ditch. The corner of a building was revealed at the E end of the Esplanade. All of these remains may be shown on an Edinburgh plan drawn by Gordon of Rothiemay in 1647. At the top of Castle Wynd Steps, a massively built stone plinth may have been a part of the Esplanade wall which was demolished prior to 1780.

SMC B: The Scottish Horse Monument was dismantled and rebuilt on a new abutment projecting from the North Esplanade Wall. A photographic survey of the wall was carried out.

SMC C: This covered the erection of the new stands and had no archaeological significance.

SMC D: The statue of Earl Haig and its stone plinth were moved from the Esplanade to Hospital Square. Excavations in Hospital Square revealed the wall of the 1748–54 powder magazine and the blast wall to the E.

SMC E: Work to relocate utilities serving the castle took place in Princes Street Gardens, in the Moat Vault, in the Coal Yard and on the steep grass slope between the South Esplanade Wall and Johnston Terrace. Walls were recorded prior to the placement of pipes/ducts. No archaeological remains were recorded in Princes Street Gardens. In the Moat Vault, plinths associated with former arched vaults were recorded. In the Coal Yard, a buried wall was recorded. Between the South Esplanade Wall and Johnston Terrace, a stone revetment was recorded.

Additional non-SMC work took place in Castlehill, Ramsay Lane and Mound Place. In Ramsay Lane, the foundations of what may be tenement buildings were recorded and to the N, part of a culvert drain was recorded.

Archive: City of Edinburgh Council SMR and RCAHMS

Funder: Sir Robert McAlpine on behalf of Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Ltd

Information from Ian Suddaby (CFA Archaeology Ltd) 2012. OASIS ID: cfaarcha1-78685

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