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Edinburgh Castle, Argyle Battery

Battery (18th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh Castle, Argyle Battery

Classification Battery (18th Century)

Canmore ID 52078

Site Number NT27SE 1.18

NGR NT 25133 73542

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. 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 1.18 25133 73542

Argyle Battery (NR).

OS 1/500 plan, (1895); OS 1/1250 plan.

(Centred at NT 2513 7354) No remarks. No information contained in RCAHMS 1951.

Visited by OS(JLD) 29 December 1953.

A platform 0.6m. high and 5.0m wide composed of alternative triangular inserts of cobble and flags and bearing the name on a wall plaque.

Visited by OS (VEL) 6 February 1954.

As described in previous field report.

Visited by OS (SFS) 10 November 1975.


Publication Account (1951)


No account of the Castle would be complete without reference to Mons Meg, a 15th-century iron bombard which was known in the two last decades of that century simply as ‘Mons’ or ‘Monce’, and after 1650 as ‘Muckle Meg’. It stands beside St. Margaret's Chapel on an oak carriage, presented in 1934. The name suggests that the piece was made at Mons in Flanders. It is composed of bars of iron welded together, over which iron rings have been shrunk, and may have been breech-loading as the breech-block appears to be screwed in. The over-all length is 13 ft. 2 in., the weight is 5 tons, and the calibre is 19½ in. With iron shot of 1125 lbs. the piece had a range of 1500 yards, with a stone shot of 549 lbs. the range would be 2900 yards. A full account of this gun will be found in the Archaeological Journal, x, pp. 25-32, and also in P.S.A.S., I (1915-6), pp. 198 ff.

The Argyle Battery mounts six muzzle-loading eighteen-pounders of the late 18th century. The collection of arms in the Great Hall includes the following Scottish pieces:- 2 Lochaber axes, 17th-18th century; 1 voulge, 16th-17th century; a number of basket-hilted broad-swords, 18th-19th century; 4 Highland targes and a dirk, all 18th century; Scottish pistols, 18th-19th century.



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