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Edinburgh, Holyrood Park, Cairn

Commemorative Cairn (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Holyrood Park, Cairn

Classification Commemorative Cairn (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Cairn For Margaret Hall; Meadowbank; Queen's Park; Muschet's Cairn; Muschat's Cairn

Canmore ID 157263

Site Number NT27SE 3953

NGR NT 2777 7409

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2024.

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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


Field Visit (15 December 1998)

NT27SE 3953 2777 7409

A small cairn is situated on the NW side of the road at the entrance from Meadowbank into Holyrood Park. It commemorates the site where Nicol Muschet murdered his wife in 1720; he was subsequently convicted and hanged in the Grassmarket. The cairn is made up of boulders cemented together, and measures 4.7m from NE to SW by 2.5m transversely and up to 1.2m in height. The present cairn was erected in 1823, replacing an original cairn that stood a short distance to the W; the latter was removed when a footpath was constructed (Grant 1882, 311). It is plotted at 1:5,550 on an archaeological map of Holyrood Park (RCAHMS 1999).

Visited by RCAHMS (ARG), 15 December 1998.

NMRS, MS/726/96 (71, no. 75); RCAHMS 1999.

Change Of Name (6 September 2023)

Although traditionally known as "Muschet's Cairn," and referenced as such by the Ordnance Survey Name Book and Sir Walter Scott in his 1818 novel "The Heart of Midlothian", the name commemorated Nicol Muschet, who was convicted of the murder of Margaret Hall, his wife. The cairn was originally raised by the people of Edinburgh for Margaret Hall and to mark their horror over this brutal event

Information from HES (S I Hamilton) 6 September 2023

Name Book 1862; J Grant 1882


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