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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


craftsmen. Thus we see in the terraced slopes illustrations of a mode of agriculture pertaining to times before all written history, when iron had not yet been forged to wound the virgin soil.?* In those days the Leith must have been a broader and a deeper river than now, otherwise the term ? Inverleith,? as its mouth, had never been given to the land in the immediate vicinity of Stockbridge. THE ROMAN ROAD, NEAR PORTOBULLO-THE ?? FISHWIVES? CAUSEWAY.? (From a Draw+ 6y WaZh H. Palm, R.S.A.) Other relics of the unwritten ages exist nea Edinburgh in the shape of battle-stones ; but many have been removed. In the immediate neigh. hourhood of the city, close to the huge monolith named the. Camus Stone, were two very large conical cairns, named Cat (or Cdh) Stones, until demolished by irreverent utilitarians, who had found covetable materials in the rude memorial stones. Underneath these cairns were cists containing human skeletons and various weapons of bronze and iron. Two of the latter material, spear-heads, are still preserved at Morton Hall. Within the grounds of that mansion, about half a mile distant from where the cairns stood, there still stands an ancient monolith, and two larger masses that are in its vicinity are not improbably the relics of a ruined cromlech. ?? Here, perchance, has been the battleground of ancient chiefs, contending, it may be, with some fierce invader, whose intruded arts startle us with evidences of an antiquity vhich seems primeval. The locality is peculiarly suited for the purpose. It is within a few miles of the sea, and enclosed in an amphitheatre of hills ; it is the highest ground in the immediate neighbourhood, and the very spot on which the wamors of a retreating host might be eFpected to make a stand ere they finally betook themselves to the adjacent fastnesses of the Pentland Hills.? t On the eastern slope of the same hill there was found a singular relic of a later period, which merits special notice from its peculiar characteristics. It is a bronze matrix, bearing the device of a turbaued head, with the legend SOLOMONB AR ISArounAd it Cin H ebrew characten j and by some it has been supposed U, be a talisman or magical signet. (?Prehist. Ann. Scat.") The origin of the name ?Edinburgh? has proved the subject of much discussion. The prenomen is a very common one in Scotland, and is always descriptive of the same kind of site-a doye. Near Lochearnhead is the shoulder of a hill called Edin-achip, ?? the slope of the repulse,? having reference to some encounter with the Romans; and Edin-ample is said to mean ?the slope of the retreat.? There are upwards of twenty places having the same descriptive prefix j and besides the instances just noted, the following examples may also be cited :-Edincoillie, a ?? slope in the wood,? in Morayshire ; Edinmore and Edinbeg, in Bute ; Edindonach, in Argyllshire ; and Edinglassie, in Aberdeenshire. Nearly every historian of Edinburgh has had a theory on the subject. Arnot suggests that the name is derived from Dunea?in, ?the face of a hill ; I? but this would rather signify the fort of Edin; and that name it bears in the register of the Priory of St Andrews, in 1107. Others are fond of asserting that the name was given to the town or castle by Edwin, a Saxon prince of the seventh century, who ?repaired it;? consequently it must have had some name before his time, and the present form may be a species of corruption of it, like that of Dryburgh, from Durrach-brush, ?the bank of the grove of oaks.? Another theory, one greatly favoured by Sir Walter Scott, is that it was the Dinas Eiddyn (the slaughter of whose people in the sixth century is lamented by Aneurin, a bard of the Ottadeni); a place, however, which. Chalmers supposes to be elsewhere. The subject is a curious one, and
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Volume 1 Page 13
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