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Edinburgh And Dalkeith Railway, Holyrood Park,

Railway (19th Century), Spoil Heap (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh And Dalkeith Railway, Holyrood Park,

Classification Railway (19th Century), Spoil Heap (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Innocent Railway, Queen's Park; Formerly Lin 23

Canmore ID 157301

Site Number NT27SE 3979

NGR NT 2790 7230

NGR Description NT 2651 7286 to NT 2999 7210

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 3979 2651 7286 to 2999 7210.

See also NT27SE 553, NT27SE 589, NT27SE 2735, NT27SE 4356, NT27SE 4360, NT27SE 4417, NT27SE 4418.

This branch of the railway, commencing at St. Leonard's Station, skirted round the S side of Arthur's Seat, having initially passed through a 200 yard tunnel in the volcanic rock.

K Sanders and D Hodgins 1991.

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 2707 7259 - Old railway line and tunnel.

NT 2862 7208

NT 2763 732 Pump house.

NT 2782 7233 House.

A full report will be lodged with the NMRS.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

D Alexander 1996

The line of the railway is clearly visible on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Edinburghshire 1855, sheets 2 and 6) and on the 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch map (Edinburghshire, sheet iiiSE). Traces of it are visible on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1989) and on the OS Basic Scale digital map (2000).

Information from RCAHMS (MD) 19 July 2001.


Field Visit (15 December 1998)

The Innocent Railway was one of Scotland's first freight railways and was opened in 1831 to carry coal from the mines in Dalkeith into the city. It earned its name as the carriages were originally drawn by horses rather than a steam engine. The line incorporates one of the earliest surviving railway tunnels (NT27SE 589) at its NW end, extending from the Wells o' Wearie to the station at St Leonards (NT27SE 2735), as well as a fine example of a cast iron bridge across the Braid Burn to the SE of Bawsinch Nature Reserve (NT27SE 553); a large mound of spoil to the N of the railway is probably associated with the construction of the tunnel (NT 2762 7236). The popularity of the line was such that coaches were added to carry passengers, and the line continued in use until the 1960s. The route is maintained as a cycleway and footpath.

Visited by RCAHMS (ARG), 15 December 1998

C R Wickham-Jones 1996.


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