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Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace, South Gateway

Gateway (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace, South Gateway

Classification Gateway (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Palace Of Holyrood; Palace Of Holyroodhouse; Palace Yard

Canmore ID 123565

Site Number NT27SE 35.15

NGR NT 26861 73838

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 35.15 26861 73838

A cultural heritage survey of Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, was undertaken in February 1996. The survey was designed to identify and evaluate the archaeological remains present withing Holyrood Park, through the examination of desk-based sources and a field inspection. A large number of sites were already recorded within the park and are listed in the NMRS. The following list is of sites not previously recorded (excluding rig and furrow and unassociated field banks), the majority of which relate to quarrying activities or are features associated with 19th-century use and management of the park.

NT 2684 7381 Lodge house.

A full report will be lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

D Alexander 1996.


Watching Brief (21 September 2016 - 7 April 2017)

NT 2686 7384 A watching brief was carried out, 21 September 2016 – 7 April 2017, during excavations to locate a burst water pipe. During the work at least two multi-phase, narrow, stone-walled structures, each with a series of floors, including a cobbled surface at the base were identified. Cartographic evidence suggests these are two possible stables, built

against the boundary wall between the S garden and palace forecourt during the early 18th century. The S boundary wall and cobbles are, in turn, residual elements of the late 16th-century palace and garden layout. It is likely that the cobbled surface is a continuation of the present Holyrood Road, itself an extension of the Cowgate.

The buildings were partially infilled, to raise the floor levels, probably in line with a newly raised palace forecourt level, defined by a combination of dumped material, sealed by clay and mortar-rich surfaces. The sequence culminated with reduction of the upstanding walls and the infill of the areas immediately adjacent. These were carefully levelled over with bedding material for the mid-19th-century courtyard surface. These deposits then saw the introduction of a major water pipe (c1890) with at least three further service pipes running roughly N/S. The sequence can be summarised in terms of the following four phases:

Phase 1: Late 16th to early 17th century – The S boundary wall of the palace/abbey, separating the S garden from Holyrood Road, ran along the S side of the forecourt.

Phase 2: Late 17th to 18th century – The area was subdivided with new cross walls, creating at least two buildings.

Phase 3: Early 18th century – New floors added at a higher level, when the courtyard level was generally raised.

Phase 4: Mid-19th century – These structures reduced and cleared away.

Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Historic Environment Scotland

Gordon Ewart – Kirkdale Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 18)


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