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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. VI


Gilmerton.; THE HOUSE IN THE ROCK. 345 character or by the stronger claims of natural affection. Choosing, therefore, a dark and windy night, when the objects of his vengeance were engaged in a stolen interview, he set fire to a stack of dried thorns and other combustibles, which he had caused to be piled against the house, and reduced to a pile of glowing ashes the dwelling and all its inmates.? In 1587 Gilmerton Grange was the property of Mark Kerr, Master of Requests in 1577, and for each apartment there was a skylight-window. It was all thoroughly drained and finished about the end of 1724. Alexander Pennicuik, ?? the burgess-bard of Edinburgh,? furnished the following inscription, which was carved in stone over the entrance : ?? Here is a house and shop hewn in this rock with my own hand.-GEoRGE PATERSON. ?? Upon the earth there ?s villany and woe, But happiness and I do dwell below ; 1 DRUM HOUSE. whom Newbattle was erected into a temporal lordship in 1591. He died first earl of the house of Lothian. The soft and workable nature of the sandstone at Gilmerton tempted a blacksmith named George Paterson, in 1720, to an enterprise of a very remarkable character. In the little garden at the end of his house he excavated for himself a dwelling in the living rock, comprising several apartments. Besides a smithy with a forge, there were a dining-room fourteen feet six inches long, seven feet broad, and six in height, furnished with a bench all round, a table, and bed recess; a drinking parlour, rather larger ; a kitchen and bed-place ; a cellar seven feet long ; and a washing-house. In 140 My hands hewed out this rock into a cell, Wherein from din of life I safely dwell : On Jamb?s pillow nightly lies my head, My house when living and my grave when dead : Inscribe upon it, when I?m dead and gone, ? I lived and died within my mother?s womb.? ? In this abode Paterson dwelt for eleven years. Holiday parties came from the city to see him and his singular house, and even judges of the courts imbibed their liquor in his stone parlour. ?The ground was held in feu, and the yearly duty and public burdens were forgiven him, on account of the extraordinary labour he had incurred in makig himself a home.? He died about 1735, and his cave is occasionally
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