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Edinburgh, General

Burgh (Medieval), Town (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, General

Classification Burgh (Medieval), Town (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 52279

Site Number NT27SE 26

NGR NT 2550 7350

NGR Description Centred NT 2550 7350

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

First 100 images shown. See the Collections panel (below) for a link to all digital images.

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 26 25 73.

(Name at NT 2760 7390) There are incidental references to a town or burgh near Edinburgh Castle in charters of the 12th century; although the town is a Royal Burgh no charter of foundation exists. That there was any earlier town-like community on the site before the emergence of the burgh is improbable.

Before, during, and after the War of Independence the town, castle and abbey, were repeatedly sacked and burned by the English. Although Edinburgh had been made a burgh in 1385 by Robert II it was not until the middle of the 15th century that it was officially recognised as the capital of the kingdom.

The removal of the Court to England on the union of the crowns (1603) was a blow to the prestige and prosperity of the town. In 1633 Charles I was crowned King of Scotland at Holyrood, and in 1650 Charles II was proclaimed at the Cross with much enthusiasm.

The town was walled at an early date, probably before 1160; additional walls were constructed c.1427, c.1450, c.1514 - the final addition known as the 'Telfer Wall' was built between 1628-1636 (see NT27SE 14).

RCAHMS 1951; Harinsworth 1906.

Medieval Town of Edinburgh


Castle NT27SE 1

Palace of Mary of Guise 2

17th century Weight House (site of) 3

16th century Tolbooth (site of) 4

Parliament House 1636 AD 5

Medieval graveyard 6

15th century Lukenbooths (site of) 7

Medieval market cross (remains of) 8

Black Turnpike 15th century (site of) 9

John Knox's Grave 1592 AD 10

St Mary's Chapel 16th century (site of) 11

Place of public execution 17th century 12

George Heriot's Hospital school 13

Medieval Town Wall 14

Bowfoot Well 17th century 16

Holyrood chapel (site of) 17

Buchanan's Grave, 1582 AD 18

Covenater's Prison, 1679 AD (site of) 19

Collegiate church of St Mary's 13th c. (site of) 20

Greyfriars Monastery 15th century (site of) 22

St Mary Magdalene chapel 16th century(remains of) 23

Taylors' Hall 15th century 25

Mint of Scotland 1574 (site of) 31

Blackfriars Monastery 1230 (site of) 51

John Knox's House 16th century 57

Tweeddale House 16th century 58

Gladstone's Land 16th century 63

Lady Stair's House 17th century 64

Cardinal Beaton's House 16th century (site of) 65

St Mary's convent 15th century (site of) 71

Maison Diev 16th century (site of) 72

Architecture Notes


Scottish Records Office

Notepaper Heading

Panoramic view of Edinburgh published by R Grant, bookseller, Princes Street. Shows New Club, various churches, Calton Hill, Melville monuments etc.

GD 121/101/21/101

The Illustrated London News, 8.7.1848 - 'Key to the view of Edinburgh' - 1 engraving - not held by NMRS.

S.M.T Magazine (Scottish Country Life), August, 1950 - Articles and photographs - not held by NMRS

S.M.T Magazine (Scottish Country Life), August, 1931 - 'Historic Homes of Edinburgh' - text and photographs - not held by NMRS.

Robinson, Peter - 'The Scottish Tenement: a lasting contribution to a city streetscape', RIBA Journal (November 1990) 36-39 - not held by NMRS.

ECC 1820, Feb.10

Sale of Roup of possession of Mrs Helen Gilbert, carpet manufacturer, Stirling House and stock in trade 14 carpet looms, dyeing coppers, 20 new made carpets, hearthrugs, tartan, dyestuffs.

ECC 1820, Jan 1827

Mr and Mrs Peyton

Students of the RA London and Paris

Fine Arts Taught.

ECC Feb 7th

Sale by Roup property of John Steele Carver and Gilder House No.1 Elder Street, Shop, 34 Princes Street.

Reference Library, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland:-

Framed original water colour sketch of Edinburgh, the New Town from the Mound, showing the loch where Princes Street now is. Signed but undated by J. Williams.

166 framed pencil sketches by A. Archer of Edinburgh, 1834 (listed on individual index sheets) - see book of lists.

Catalogue of negatives of a survey of Edinburgh, 1910, held in the Patrick Geddes Centre, Outlook Tower, Castlehill, Edinburgh. Amongst other areas it included Johnston Terrace, Causewayside, Pleasance, Canongate and the yard off Springvalley Terrace.

Edinburgh Public Library - Catalogue on the Books of Edinburgh , 1948.

National Library:

Country Life, Jan. 3rd, 1925. 'Edinburgh Courts and Wynds of', Vol. Lvii, page 22.

Country Life, Aug. 1st, 1925 - photograph and article on Modern Athens.

(These editions of Country Life is not held in the NMRS Library).

'St Cecelia's Hall in the Niddry Wynd' -

p.19 - Reproduction of old plan in possession of City of Edinburgh.

p.23 - Plan of city and castle by William Edgar, 1765, showing St. C. Hall, Niddry's Wynd, Kinloch's Close, Dickson's Close, St. Mary's Chapel, Market Cross, Town Gaurd House.

Huntly House Museum:- 4 views taken from the top of Scott Monument, 1845-1847 by Ebsworth - watercolours.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery:- 1 print of 'Edinburgh from the East', by Hugh William Williams - B8598.

'Master Masons' p.17, The 'Borrough' Guide to Edinburgh and Neighbourhood with sheet plan. 1935 - Map of Edinburgh, 1844.

Uncatalogued MSS, Hutton Vol. I no.78 - engraved copy of map signed Thomas Bonnar. No date.

The Illustrated London News, 8.7.1848 - 'Key to the view of Edinburgh' - 1 engraving. Unlocated in NMRS at time of upgrade, 5.8.1999.

The Illustrated London News, 13.8.1949 - article. Unlocated in NMRS at time of upgrade, 5.8.1999.

The Builder, 1.1.1892 - 'General view of Edinburgh from the Calton Hill' - photograph of drawing by W. Monk. Not held by NMRS.


Edinburgh New Town Conservation:-

Relied Map of Edinburgh City in 1829 before the railways. Exhibited by Patrick Geddes at Town Planning Exhibition, London, 1910 and Edinburgh, 1911.



1544 Lord Hertford's army in the foreground - 2 prints and 2 details (C678657 and slide C67258 and slide and duplicate)

1573 after Holinshed, seige of Edinburgh Castle showing Edinburgh and Leith.

Late 1600's after Slezer, view from the North, Edinburgh with the towns of Leith, Burnt Island and Kinghorn' and a detail.

Edinburgh City police box (designed by Ebenezer MacRae).

'Town and Country Planning Scotland Act 1932, the Edinburgh (North Western) planning scheme' key plan.

Plan of Leith and North Edinburgh, probably related to the sewage plans around Bruntsfield, Duddingston Road, Leith etc.

1 pencil sketch dated July, 1819 - original sent from Louis Meyer, 23 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London, declined by N.B.R. 11.10.1948.

Edinburgh, general, unidentified house. Architect: John Dobson, 1828. Owner: Charles Bruce.


Drawing by A.Archer, titled: 'Edinburgh from Dalkeith Road' - unlocated at time of upgrade, 5.8.1999.

Ferguson Sketch Book (Old House) - 1 sketch.

Archibald Burns (fl. 1858-1880), Photographer.

A set of six views of Edinburgh by Archibald Burns. Photographs are individually mounted and held in a wallet of green cloth stamped: 'Photographic views from Gilbert Ferrier, 70 George Street, Edinburgh'

Mounts inscribed: 'Photographed by Archibald Burns'. (295 x 255) Acc. No. 1990/45

1. View of Princes Street Gardens. Insc: 'Edinburgh Castle from the East Gardens'.

2. View ofHolyrood Palace. Insc: 'Holyrood Palace'

3. View of Holyrood Chapel nave. Insc: 'View of Holyrood Chapel'.

4. View of Ramsay's Monument, Princes Street.

5. View of the Royal Scottish Academy. Insc: 'The Royal Institution, Edinburgh'.

6. View of Edinburgh. Insc: 'Edinburgh from the Calton Hill'.

Wallet unlocated at time of upgrade, 29.10.1999



View of Edinburgh from St Anthony's Chapel.

Unsigned. No date. c.1830

Pencil (15 1/4" x 22")

Acc. No. 1973/5

Purchased: Daniel Shakleton, 74 Thistle Street, Edinburgh.

Unlocated at time of upgrade.


William Sibbald.

Edinburgh. New North Church. Reseating advertisement for tenders, 1795.

(Edinburgh Evening Courant, Nov 12, 1795).

Location of church uncertain at time of upgrade, 8.2.2000


William Sibbald.

Edinburgh. Old Church. Reseating.

Advertisement for tenders, 1799.

(Edinburgh Evening Courant, Aug 31, 1799).

Location of church uncertain at time of upgrade, 8.2.2000

Edinburgh, Elliot Cottage - uncertain of location at time of upgrade, 11.2.2000


I.G.Lindsay Collection

Edinburgh, General.

Framed photograph of Edinburgh looking South-West from Waterloo Place.


N.d c.1870

Size: 790 x 950

Acc. No.: 1989/18


Prov. Blyth and Blyth - missing at time of upgrade

NMRS Plans:

Peter Brown and Thomas Nelson, 1831 - 1 photograph of town plan - missing at time of upgrade.

Copy of drawing in the British Museum L. 968 - 1 photograph view to North East - mid 18th century - missing at time of upgrade.

Framed Map, given by Mrs Grieve, 6 Westercoates Avenue - missing at time of upgrade.

O'Brien sketches - pencil view from North - missing at time of upgrade.


'The unacceptable face of the capital' - from the Scotsman, September, 1981 - text and illustrations.

'The Graphic', 12.8.1871 - engraving, titled: 'Edinburgh from the Castle' - unlocated at time of upgrade, 5.8.1999.

'The Scotsman' 10.7.1957 - 'Edinburgh New Approaches' - unlocated at time of upgrade, 5.8.1999.


Edinburgh from Braid Hills' - painted by H.G.Duguid - engraving.

Edinburgh from Castle Hill' - drawn by J.Ewbank - engraving.

Edinburgh from the High Battery of the Castle - 1.10.1828 - engraving.

'View of Edinburgh' (communication between the old and new town) - engraving by Alex Trotter.

'Edinburgh from the North' - lithograph.

'Tercentenary Students Torchlight Procession' - 15.4.1844 - etching (Heliogravure).

'View of Edinburgh' R.A. - Riddell - 15.5.1795 - engraving.

'Edinburgh from the top of Princes Street' - J.Gendall - 1.7.1824 - engraving.

'The City of Edinburgh' - I.Clark - colour Engraving.

'Edinburgh from Calton Hill' - 1 engraving (untitled); 1 colour engraving; 1 lithograph.

'Leith' (coast in background) - 1 colour lithograph.

'Edinburgh from the top of Nelson's monument' - 1 colour lithograph.

'View from Edinburgh Castle' - 1848 - from a sketch taken by the Bishop of of Glasgow.

Missing at time of upgrade.


LOR E/74/1 Unidentified House

LOR E/75/1 Unidentified House

LOR E/77/1 Unidentified House

LOR E/78/1 Unidentified House

LOR E/79/1 Unidentified House

Due to a lack of available evidence an exact location could not be found.


Aerial Photography (14 August 2006)

Aerial Photography (3 August 2006)


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