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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


west Port.] THE TILTING GROUND. 225 centuries,? and the access thereto from the Castle must have been both inconvenient and circuitous. It has been supposed that the earliest buildings -on this site had been erected in the reign of James IV., when the low ground to the westward was the scene of those magnificent tournaments, which drew to that princely monarch7s court the most brilliant chivalry in Europe, and where those combats ensued of which the king was seldom an idle spectator. This tilting ground remained open and unen- ~ appointed for triell of suche matters.? Latterly the place bore the name of Livingstone?s Yards. We have mentioned the acquisition by the city of the king?s stables at the Restoration. Lord Fountainhall records, under date I rth March, 1685, a reduction pursued by the Duke of Queensberry, as Governor of the Castle, against Thomas Boreland and other possessors of these stables, as part of the Castle precincts and property. Boreland and others asserted that they held their property in THE GRASSMARKET, FROM THE WEST PORT, 1825. (Afhh?wbmk.) closed when Maitland wrote. and is described by I virtue of a feu granted in the reign of James V., him as a pleasant green space, 150 yards long, by 50 broad, adjoining the Chapel of Our Lady ; but this ?pleasant green? is now intersected by the? hideous Kingsbridge ; one portion is occupied by the Royal Horse Bazaar and St. Cuthbert?s Free Church, while the rest is made odious by tan-pits, slaughter-houses, and other dwellings of various descriptions. Calderwood records that in the challenge to mortal combat, in 1571, between Sir William I Kirkaldy of Grange, and Alexander Stewart younger of Garlies, they were to fight ?upon the ground, the Baresse, be-west the West Port of Edinburgh, the place accustomed and of old , I 77 but the judges decided that unless thedefenders could prove a legal dissolution of the royal possession, they must be held as the king?s stables, and be accordingly annexed to the crown of Scotland Thomas Boreland?s house, one which long figured in every view of the Castle from the foot of Vennel {see Vol. I., p. 80), has recently been pulled down. It was a handsome and substantial edifice of three storeys in height, including the dormer windows, crow-stepped, and having three most picturesque gables in front, with a finely moulded door, on the lintel of which were inscribed a date and legend :- T. B. v. B. 1675. FEAR. GOD. HONOR . THE. KING.
Volume 4 Page 225
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