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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


to extinct Scottish regiments, and various weapons from the field of Culloden, particularly the Doune steel pistols, of beautiful workmanship, worn by Highland gentlemen. Near this rises the Hawk Hi?l, where kings and nobles practised falconry of old; on the left is the Gothic arch of the citadel; and on the right * rises the great mass of the hideous and uncomfortable infantry barracks, erected partly on the archery butts, in 1796, and likened by Sir Walter Scott to a vulgar cotton-mill. This edifice is 150 feet long, and four storeys high to the westward, where it rises on a massive arcade, and from its windows can be had a magniticent prospect, extend- 'ing almost to the smoke of Glasgow, and the blue cone of Ben Lomond, fifty miles distant. On the south-west is Drury's gun-hattery, so named from the officer of Scottish Engineers who built it in 1689, and in its rear is the square prisonhouse, built in 1840. Passing through the citadel gate, we find on the left the modern water-tank, the remains of the old shot-yard, the door of which has now disappeared; but on the gablet above it was a thistle, with the initials D.G.M.S. Here is the king's bastion, on the north-west verge of the citadel, and on the highest cliff of the Castle rock. Here, too, are St Margaret's Chapel, which we have already described, Mons Meg, frowning, as of old, from the now-ruinous mortar battery, and a piece of bare rock, the site of a plain modern chapel, the pointed window of which was once conspicuous from Princes Street, but which was demolished by Colonel Moodie, R.E., in expectation fhat one more commodious would be erected. But macy years have since passed, and this has never been done, consequently there is now no chapel for the use of the troops of any religious denomination; while the office of chaplain has also been abolished, at a time when Edinburgh has been made a dep8t centre for Scottish regiments, and in defiance of the fact that the Castle is under the Presbytery, and is a parish of the city. The platform of the half-moon battery is 510 feet above the level of the Forth. It is armed with old 18 and 24 pounders, one of which is, at one P.M., fired by electricity as a time-gun, by a wire from the Calton Hill. It is furnished with a lofty flagstaff, an iron grate for beacon fires, and contains a draw-well IIO feet deep. From its massive portholes Charles 11. saw the rout of Cromwell's troops at Lochend in 1650; and from there the Corsican chief Saoli in 1771, the Grand Duke Nicholas in 1819, George IV. in 1822, Queen Victoria, and many others of note, have viewed the city that stretched at their feet below. Within this battery is the ancient square or Grand Parade, where some of the most interesting buildings in the Castle are to be found, as it is on the loftiest, most precipitous, and inaccessible portion of the isolated rock. Here, abutting on the very verge of the giddy cliff, overhanging the Grassmarket, several hundred feet below, stands all that many sieges have left of the ancient royal palace, forming the southern and easterr. sides of the quadrangle. The chief feature of the former is a large battlemented edifice, now nearly destroyed by its conversion into a military hospital. This was the ancient hall of the Castle, in length 80 feet by 33 in width, and 27 in height, and lighted by tall mullioned windows from the south, wherein Parliaments have sat, kings have feasted and revelled, ambassadors been received, and treaties signed for peace or war. Some remains of its ancient grandeur are yet discernible amid the new floors and partitions that have been run through it. At the summit of the principal staircase is a beautifully-sculptured stone corbel representing a well-cut female face, ornamented on each side by a volute and thistle. On this rests one of the original beams of the open oak roof, and on each side are smaller beams with many sculptured shields, all defaced by the whitewash of the barrack pioneers and hospital orderlies. " The view from CHEST IN WHICH THE REGALIA WERE FOUND. the many windows on this side is scarcely surpassed by any other in the capital. Immediately below are the picturesque old houses of the Grassmarket and West Port, crowned by the magnificent towers of Heriot's Hospital. From this deep abyss the hum of the neighbouring city rises up, mellowed by the distance, into one pleasing voice of life and industry ; while far beyond a
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