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Edinburgh, Canongate, Burgh Cross

Market Cross (16th Century)(Possible)

Site Name Edinburgh, Canongate, Burgh Cross

Classification Market Cross (16th Century)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Canno Cross; Cross Of Canongate; Market Cross; Mercat Cross

Canmore ID 52325

Site Number NT27SE 30

NGR NT 26472 73812

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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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 30 26472 73812

(NT 2643 7379) Burgh Cross (NR) (site of) (NT 2647 7381) Burgh Cross (NAT)

OS 25"map, (1968)

The ONB (1852), describing the Canongate Burgh Cross as " a plain pillar surmounted by a cross bearing the Canongate arms," states that it formerly stood in the centre of the street opposite the tolbooth (NT 2642 7378). It stood at NT 2643 7379 in 1852 (OS 1/1056 map, 1852) but Drummond, in 1861, states that it was placed against the wall of the Tolbooth, adding that the staple for fixing the jougs still remained. The RCAHMS (1951) state that in 1888 the octagonal shaft of the cross was provided with a new base, capital, and cross-head, and was erected on the W side of the entrance to the parish church. (Its position in 1951 is shown at NT 2644 7379, but it has subsequently been moved again to its present site.)

Name Book 1852; J Drummond 1863; RCAHMS 1951.

NT 2647 7381 This cross is as described in previous information.

Visited by OS (S F S) 4 December 1975.

Architecture Notes

NT27SE 30 26472 73812


See also NMRS Historical File, under Canongate - The Market Cross. Entry consists of two pages of information and references, and small pen and ink sketch of Cross.

Framed copy of Gordon of Rothiemay's map of 1647 - plan including Market Cross. Unlocated at time of upgrade (30.8.1999)

Cross now moved to East of Canongate Church.


City Architect's Plan Drawer No 12

- 2 drawings 1888


Conservation (1888)

Restored and capital and cross head also added.

Information from RCAHMS [BMB 16/1/2013]

Publication Account (1951)

119. Burgh Cross, Canongate.

In 1888 the octagonal shaft of the Burgh Cross, which originally stood in the middle of the street, was provided with a new base, capital and cross-head, and was erected on the W. side of the entrance to the Parish Church.


Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association ( 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 (16 October 2002)

Small floriated cross, with reliefs of Canongate arms back and front, surmounts an octagonal pillar with castellated top. All on a stepped octagonal three-tiered base and two octagonal steps below. Set in paved and gravelled area to side of church. Bronze dated plaque with Canongate arms on front of central octagonal base.

The base is the one provided for the Mercat Cross in the High Street in 1866 which was replaced in 1885.

In the 16th century this mercat cross stood in the middle of the street opposite the Council Chambers. Moved in 1737 to the Tolbooth wall; in 1888 it was resited with new base, capital and cross-head in the Canongate Churchyard (to the west of the entrance). It was placed in its present site in 1953.

The arms of the Canongate, a stag's head with a cross between its antlers, refers to the legendary vision of King David I.

The shaft was possibly based on that of the High Street Mercat Cross.

Inspected By : D. King

Inscriptions : Raised dates on bronze plaque: 1128 / 1888

On ribbon on plaque below shield (raised letters): SIC ITUR AD ASTRA

Signatures : None

Design period : 16th century and 1888

Year of unveiling : 1953

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN1311)


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