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Edinburgh Castle, Gate House

Gateway (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh Castle, Gate House

Classification Gateway (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Outer Barrier

Canmore ID 52083

Site Number NT27SE 1.22

NGR NT 25239 73488

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/52083

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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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 1.22 25239 73488.

Outer Barrier (NR) (Site of).

OS 1/1500 plan, (1895).

Centred at 23 48 (Not published on 1/1250 (1947))

OS 1/1250 plan.

(NT 2524 7348) No remarks. No information contained in RCAHMS 1951.

Visited by OS(JLD) 29 December 1953.

Present archway and adjoining guardroom are of modern construction.

Visited by OS(VEL) 6 February 1954.

Architecture Notes

INFORMATION FROM A CATALOGUE SLIP

Wallace Statue: ARCHITECT: Alexander Carrick

Activities

Publication Account (1951)

THE APPROACH.

The approach to the Castle itself is by way of the Esplanade, across the head of which runs the Dry Ditch constructed some time between 1725 and 1742. The ditch is now traversed by a modern drawbridge, some scanty remains of an earlier bridge being seen on the left-hand side. The way of access then passes through an arched pend in the modern gatehouse, in the walls of which are inserted two interesting 17th-century panels sculptured with trophies of arms. On one of these the cannon known as Mons Meg can be identified. Inside and facing the back of the gate-house rises the Half-Moon Battery, constructed in 1574 and commanding the whole of the Old Town, which lies from one hundred to three hundred feet below. About 20 ft. below the parapet can be seen a gunloop, masked until recently by the wall of the battery; this was formed in the old curtain on the N. side of David's Tower at some time in the early 16th century, and is consequently the oldest gunloop in the Castle. The report of 1572 mentions six cannons int his part of the defences.

The access next skirts the N. base of the Battery up to the Inner Barrier, known as the “2d gate” in the 17th century, when it was protected by a drawbridge, and then runs up to the former position of the “Constable's Tower”, which is to-day occupied by the Portcullis Gate, or Morton's Gateway. The lower part of this latter building dates from 1574, and contains a vaulted transe adapted for two outer doors in two leaves, a portcullis, and an inner door, also in two leaves. The outer archway has an architectural framework of the period with superimposed double pilasters at each side. On a string course above, two seated lions rest as finials and flank an heraldic achievement. The heraldic panel, which exhibits the Royal Arms of Scotland below a crown, is modern, but the base and entablature are original. The frieze is enriched with hearts and mullets, charges which pertain to the Douglas coats of arms. The archway at the inner end of the transe is plain. A heavily barred window above lights a vaulted portcullis-room resting on the transe. On emerging from the gatehouse the road runs between the Argyle Battery on the right, where there was an inner gate, and the " long stairs" on the left, the latter a short cut to the summit of the Rock, partly rebuilt in 1785. It then winds round a shoulder and, entering through Foog's Gate (Fig.73), which dates from the 17th century, reaches the inner enclosure known as The Citadel, which it should be remembered had been the only fortified portion of the site down to the middle of the 16th century.

RCAHMS 1951

Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (http://www.pmsa.org.uk/) set up a National Recording Project in 1997 with the aim of making a survey of public monuments and sculpture in Britain ranging from medieval monuments to the most contemporary works. Information from the Edinburgh project was added to the RCAHMS database in October 2010 and again in 2012.

The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) Edinburgh Sculpture Project has been supported by Eastern Photocolour, Edinburgh College of Art, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, Historic Scotland, the Hope Scott Trust, The Old Edinburgh Club, the Pilgrim Trust, the RCAHMS, and the Scottish Archive Network.

Field Visit (25 September 2002)

Standing figure of William Wallace in a canopied niche. Wallace wears chain mail armour and a tabard and cloak. He holds a large shield, decorated with a Saltire, in front of him, and a sword.

Inspected By : T.S.

Inscriptions : On bronze plaque within archway:

MEMORIAL TO WALLACE / ERECTED BY / THE CORPORATION OF EDINBURGH / UNDER CAPTAIN HUGH REID'S BEQUEST / UNVEILED 28TH MAY 1929 / THE Rt. Hon. SIR ALEXANDER STEVENSON / LORD PROVOST

Signatures : On base below statue :

A. Carrick RSA / Sc. 1928

McDonald & [Cresswick?] Founders Ltd

Unveiling details : 28 May 1929

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0487)

Field Visit (25 September 2002)

Standing figure of Robert the Bruce wearing chain mail armour, a tabard and cloak. He has a sword in a belt at his left hip and holds a shield, decorated with a lion rampant beside his right leg. On his head is a crown.

Inspected By : T.S.

Inscriptions : On bronze plaque within archway:

MEMORIAL TO BRUCE / ERECTED BY / THE CORPORATION OF EDINBURGH / UNDER CAPTAIN HUGH REID'S BEQUEST / UNVEILED 28TH MAY 1929 / THE Rt. Hon. SIR ALEXANDER STEVENSON / LORD PROVOST

Signatures : On base below statue:

THOS. J. CLAPPERTON / 1929

A.[ ? ] / FOUNDERS / LONDON

Unveiling details : 28 May 1929

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0488)

Field Visit (25 September 2002)

Each panel depicts artillery in high relief. The panel on the north wall shows a collection of cannons, cannon balls, barrels of gun powder and two soldiers preparing a cannon. The panel on the south wall shows three cannons, cannon balls, barrels and other military weapons.

Inspected By : T.S.

Inscriptions : None

Signatures : None

Design period : 17th Century

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0489)

Excavation (11 January 2007 - 12 January 2007)

Kirkdale Archaeology undertook a short excavation at Edinburgh Castle Gate House in January 2007. This excavation was a follow up to the substantial amount of work done at Edinburgh Castle Guardhouse and Coalyard in late 2006.

G Ewart 2007

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

Kirkdale Archaeology

References

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