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Edinburgh Castle, Mills Mount Battery

Battery (18th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh Castle, Mills Mount Battery

Classification Battery (18th Century)

Canmore ID 52074

Site Number NT27SE 1.14

NGR NT 25113 73565

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/52074

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 1.14 25113 73565

Mills Mount Battery (NR).

OS 1/1250 plan.

(Centred at NT 2511 7355) No remarks. No information in RCAHMS 1951. Visited by OS (JLD) 29 December 1953.

No further information

Visited by OS (SFS) 10 November 1975.

NT 2511 7356 A watching brief was undertaken in April and May 2005 during the excavation of a large shallow trench at the usual position of the one o'clock gun, part of a programme of relaying flagstones over the whole area of the Mills Mount battery (NT27SE 1.14), which is intended to be the site of ceremonial guns. Structures thought likely to be uncovered were the top of the tunnel vault, the founds for the gun platform, and other undisturbed archaeological deposits. It was noted that the area to the S of Mills Mount had been massively disturbed in recent years in respect of

the new access tunnel, and that intact ancient surfaces and deposits may exist only in the area of this excavation.

The excavation revealed the almost intact remains of the foundation masonry for an old gun platform, altered at some stage by the removal of original paving slabs. The site was then buried under a thin skim of sand and mortar dust before a newer, smaller platform replaced it. The truncated E side of this structure suggested that the tunnel and vault to the E had been inserted through the E splayed side of this platform, and consequently post-dates it. The top of the tunnel vault was also seen, apparently built against the existing S face of the N wall of Mills Mount.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: HS

D Stewart 2005

Activities

Watching Brief (18 January 2005 - 24 January 2005)

NT 2511 7356 A watching brief was undertaken in April and May 2005 during the excavation of a large shallow trench at the usual position of the one o’clock gun, part of a programme of re-laying flagstones over the whole area of the Mills Mount battery (NT27SE 1.14), which is intended to be the site of ceremonial guns. Structures thought likely to be uncovered were the top of the tunnel vault, the founds for the gun platform, and other undisturbed archaeological deposits. It was noted that the area to the S of Mills Mount had been massively disturbed in recent years in respect of the new access tunnel, and that intact ancient surfaces and deposits may exist only in the area of this excavation.The excavation revealed the almost intact remains of the foundation masonry for an old gun platform, altered at some stage by the removal of original paving slabs. The site was then buried under a thin skim of sand and mortar dust before a newer, smaller platform replaced it. The truncated E side of this structure suggested that the tunnel and vault to the E had been inserted through the E splayed side of this platform, and consequently post-dates it. The top of the tunnel vault was also seen, apparently built against the existing S face of the N wall of Mills Mount.

D Stewart 2005

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

Kirkdale Archaeology

Standing Building Recording (20 April 2015 - 5 June 2015)

NT 251 734 A programme of standing building recording was carried out, 20 April – 5 June 2015, at Edinburgh Castle. The work focused on a number of key areas of the castle: the Half Moon Battery (including the walling and masonry below), the bedrock, the Guardhouse Building (and adjacent walling,) the Fore Well Tower, the Inner Barrier, the Curtain Wall, the Eastern Approach Wall, the Lang Stair, the Portcullis Gate, the Dog Cemetery, Mills Mount Wall, and the South

Water Tank.

Between 1450–1573 the upper part of the Fore Well Tower was constructed, alterations were made to the Portcullis Tower (including the turnpike stair), and David’s Tower was modified to accommodate artillery defences. The outwork below the Fore Well Tower was enhanced, the Inner Barrier created and repairs to the Curtain Wall effected. Repairs were also made to the Lang Stair.

From 1573–1610, the Half Moon Battery was constructed, along with the eastern facade of the Portcullis Gate. The N wall of the Portcullis Gate was thickened, and there were repairs to the Curtain Wall.

Between 1610–1780 an upper storey was added to the Portcullis Gate, and a wall was constructed on the gate’s eastern approach.

From 1780–1850, the water tanks below the Half Moon Battery were constructed, a boundary wall was built on Mills Mount, and the Dog Cemetery (as a place of burial) came into being.

Between 1850–1950, the upper part of the Portcullis Gate was restored (including the replacement of the royal coat of arms). A gun port was opened on the Half Moon Battery, and the Kirkcaldy of Grange memorial was emplaced.

Gordon Ewart and Dennis Gallagher 2015

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

Kirkdale Archaeology

References

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