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Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace, Holyrood Abbey, Tower

Grave (Period Unassigned), Tower (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace, Holyrood Abbey, Tower

Classification Grave (Period Unassigned), Tower (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Holyrood Abbey Church; Palace Of Holyrood; Palace Of Holyroodhouse

Canmore ID 52382

Site Number NT27SE 35.10

NGR NT 26915 73969

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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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 35.10 26915 73969

(NT 2691 7397) Tower (NR).

OS 25"map, (1931).

A square tower, the northern one of two which still survives although reduced from its original height. These towers were attached to the west angles of the nave aisles of the Abbey by a narrow gorge and being thus placed could give no support to the nave arcade.

From the interior the entrance to the surviving tower is lintelled and chamfered. The tower was originally floored with timber and its lower storey has windows to N and E. The belfry stage, lit by four large windows was entered from the triforium passage but the missing upper chamber was presumably approached by a ladder.

RCAHMS 1951.

Tower:- A fine example of early 13th century Gothic.

Visited by OS(JLD) 29 December 1953.

As described: is in fair state of preservation.

Visited by OS(JLD) 31 December 1953.


Excavation (23 July 2007)

An archaeological assessment was carried out after the excavation of a small trench just to the west of the tower at the northwest corner of Holyrood Abbey. The granite setts had been lifted to find and repair a burst water pipe. In the west facing section of the trench a possible grave cut with what may have been the remains of a coffin was seen, but since no further excavation was undertaken it was not fully revealed.

Information from Sarah Hogg (Kirlkdale Archaeology) 1 October 2007.

OASIS ID: kirkdale1-249632

Watching Brief (22 February 2008 - 20 March 2008)

NT 2690 7396 A watching brief was maintained, 22 February–20 March 2008, during the excavation of a service trench running N from the N wall of the Palace of Holyroodhouse past the W end of Holyrood Abbey. The trench followed the line of a previous pipe trench as closely as possible to avoid disturbing any previously unbroken ground.

Towards the S end of the trench there was a concentration of human bone in the backfill. An E–W aligned grave was also recorded at the SW corner of the N tower of the abbey. This burial had been cut through by the earlier pipe trench. It is likely that more than one grave had been cut by the initial pipe trench but only one definite grave was identified with fragments of bone visible in both sides of the trench. At the SW corner of the N corner tower an area of concrete was revealed below the foundations which may represent a repair to the corner of the foundations of the N corner tower.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: Historic Scotland

information from Sarah Hogg (Kirkdale Archaeology) 21 March 2008. OASIS ID - kirkdale1-60028


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