25 July 2019

A Tour of Edinburgh Castle, 16 April 2019

One of Edinburgh's most popular attractions, Edinburgh Castle sits atop Castle Rock, an extinct volcano that once stood on a wide river plain next to a tropical sea 350 million years ago.  Buried under kilometres of sand and mud from volcanic eruptions, Castle Rock was subsequently scoured by retreating glaciers during the Ice Age, which sculpted the hard inner core of the volcanic plug and gouged a valley around its base, leaving a dramatic, craggy peak overlooking the surrounding landscape.  

As a natural defensive position, Castle Rock has been occupied since the Bronze Age, 3,000 years ago, when the first fortifications were likely built.  By the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, Castle Rock had been transformed into a large Iron Age hill fort, and was most likely a capital of the native Votadini tribe.  The Votadini, also known as the Gododdin, were conquered by the Angles around AD 640, at which time the name 'Eidyn' was anglicised to Edinburgh. By no later than 1093, Edinburgh was established as a royal centre and the Castle Rock evolved into a major royal fortress under King David I (reigned 1124-1153).  In 1174 the English took Scotland's King William I prisoner during the Battle of Alnwick and subsequently captured Edinburgh Castle; English forces remained in control of the castle until 1186, when it was returned to William I as his dowry for marrying an English bride selected by William's nemesis, King Henry II of England.  

In March 1296, King Edward I of England launched an invasion of Scotland in an attempt to seize control of the vacant Scottish throne. Edinburgh Castle was captured by English forces after a three-day bombardment, but the invasion prompted the First War of Scottish Independence.  With English control over Scotland weakened following the death of Edward I in 1307, Sir Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray, successful assaulted Edinburgh Castle in 1314.  Scottish King Robert I (aka Robert the Bruce) subsequently ordered the destruction of the castle's defences to prevent an English re-occupation of the fortress.  Nevertheless, under a renewed invasion of Scotland by English King Edward III in 1333, Edinburgh Castle was recaptured by English forces in 1335 and refortified.  This Second War of Scottish Independence saw the castle taken back by Scottish forces under William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale, in 1341.  

Under King David II (reigned 1329-1371), Edinburgh Castle was rebuilt according to European architectural styles David had observed during his years of exile in France and England.  His primary residence was a new stone tower over 30 metres (100 feet)  high, which was not completed until after his death in 1371.  Under King James III (reigned 1460-1488) and his son, James IV (reigned 1488-1513), Renaissance ideas inspired a grand construction program that saw the transformation of the royal chambers into a palace and the addition of the Great Hall.

With the construction of Holyrood Palace under King James V (reigned 1513-1542), use of Edinburgh Castle as a royal residence waned, especially after his son, James VI (reigned 1567-1625), moved to London after assuming the title of James I of England as a result of the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England in 1603.  Nevertheless, the castle continued to house a military garrison, the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish crown jewels), the national archives, and a gun foundry.  

Edinburgh Castle suffered severe damage during the Lang (Long) Siege of 1571-1573, precipitated by the forced abdication of the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots in 1567.  With the castle defended by a garrison under Mary's supporter Sir William Kirkcaldy of Grange, a succession of Protestant Regents acting on behalf of Mary's son, the infant King James VI, besieged the castle from June 1571 to May 1573. The turning point in the siege came in April 1573 with the arrival of an English army sent by Queen Elizabeth I and equipped with powerful artillery and mortars. The English forces proceeded to batter down the castle walls and David's Tower, in the process clogging the castle's well with debris and denying the defenders access to water.  Following an English assault on the ruins, Kirkcaldy and his defenders surrendered on 28 May 1573, with Kirkcaldy being executed on 3 August.  The devastation wrought on the castle's defences and buildings during the Lang Siege led to a major reconstruction program.       

In March 1639, Protestant dissenters (called Covenanters) angered by King Charles I's attempts to reform the Church of Scotland through the imposition of Catholic-influenced practices besieged and then assaulted Edinburgh Castle in a relatively bloodless 30-minute victory.  Returned to Charles I's control in June 1639, Edinburgh Castle was again besieged by the Covenanters in 1640.  Ordered to hold out at all costs, the castle's Royalist defenders successfully defeated a Covenanter assault but nonetheless surrendered after exhausting their supplies during the three-month siege.  

With the 1649 execution of Charles I on the orders of the English Parliament under the newly-declared republican Commonwealth of England, his son, Charles II, was hurriedly crowned as King of Scotland.  This move precipitated an invasion of Scotland by a Commonwealth army under General Oliver Cromwell, who defeated Scottish forces at Dunbar in September 1650 and besieged Edinburgh Castle for three months before its defenders surrendered to Cromwell just before Christmas. Once in control of the heavily-damaged castle, Cromwell transformed it into a military base, with a permanent garrison of around 120 men.  

The overthrow and exile of the Catholic King James VII and II in 1688 and the installation of his Protestant daughter Mary and her Dutch husband William of Orange as co-sovereigns on 11 April 1689 (the Glorious Revolution) led to a backlash in Scotland, with James' supporters (the Jacobites) attempting to restore the Catholic Stuarts to the throne.  With Edinburgh Castle defended by the staunch Jacobite Duke of Gordon and 160 men of the garrison, 7,000 troops besieged the castle beginning in March 1689.  The Jacobite defenders, severely weakened by losses and dwindling supplies, surrendered in June 1689.  Edinburgh Castle subsequently became one of four Scottish castles to be permanently garrisoned by the British Army under the terms of the Acts of Union in 1707, which formally united England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain.  The second Jacobite Rising in 1715 (following the death of Queen Anne and the coronation of George I of Hanover) led to a major strengthening of the castle's fortifications in the 1720s and 1730s.  The third and final Jacobite Rising in 1745 saw another failed attempt to capture Edinburgh Castle, in what would be the last time the castle would ever be subjected to siege.

In the 1790s, with fear of an invasion of Britain by the forces of Napoleonic France, Edinburgh Castle's defences were further strengthened with the addition of a new barracks building for 600 troops that effectively doubled the size of the garrison; however, with the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the size of the garrison was greatly reduced to save money.  

While Edinburgh Castle continued to serve as a military facility after 1815, it also became an attraction for a public increasingly interested in Scottish history, especially after historian and novelist Sir Walter Scott rediscovered the Honours of Scotland in a room of the castle's former Royal Palace in 1818.  The Honours, locked away in an oak trunk following the 1707 Act of Union, were placed on public display and were even seen by King George IV in 1822 during the first visit to the castle by a reigning monarch since Charles II in 1651.  The addition of an imposing new Gatehouse in 1888 and the restoration of the 16th century Great Hall in 1891 were designed to enhance the regal appearance of the castle for tourists.  In 1905, the growing importance of Edinburgh Castle as a visitor attraction was reflected in its transfer from War Office responsibility to that of the Office of Works (subsequently renamed Historic Scotland).

Nevertheless, with the outbreak of the First World War, Edinburgh Castle re-assumed the role of military outpost, housing a recruiting centre, training depot, hospital, and prison.  German prisoners of war and several British socialists and pacifists were imprisoned in the castle, while a German Zeppelin attack on the city of Edinburgh in April 1916 saw one bomb dropped on Castle Rock itself.  A demobilisation centre for servicemen was established in the castle at the end of the war, and the National War Memorial was constructed from a barracks building on the summit of the Castle Rock, opening in 1927.  The Second World War again saw Edinburgh Castle serving in a military role, with four injured German airmen being treated in its hospital following the shooting down of their bomber over Scotland in October 1939.  Later, in 1944, Edinburgh Castle was used to stage an elaborate deception operation, Operation Fortitude North.  This involved broadcasting phoney radio traffic and funnelling misinformation through double agents in order to trick Nazi Germany into believing that the Allies intended a major assault on the coast of Norway rather than in French Normandy.

More recently, Edinburgh Castle has been officially recognised for its historical importance, being declared a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing Edinburgh's Old and New Town districts in 1995.  The next year, the Stone of Destiny (also known as the Stone of Scone), an ancient relic of the coronation proceedings for Scottish kings, was returned to Edinburgh Castle 700 years after its removal to London in 1296.  Since 1950, The castle's Esplanade has played host every August to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo of musical performances, and by 2014, Edinburgh Castle ranked as the second most visited paid attraction in Britain, with more than 1.4 million visitors each year.

Edinburgh Castle looms over Edinburgh, as seen from the Princes Street Gardens located on the northern side of Castle Rock in the valley gouged by glaciers during the Ice Age.  The site of the gardens was once a small lake, formed by local streams dammed in 1450; after the lake was drained, beginning in 1760, the gardens were laid out. 

A ScotRail train travels below the north face of Castle Rock and Edinburgh Castle.  Tombstones in the graveyard of the Parish Church of St Cuthbert are just visible above the stone retaining wall.

The west face of Castle Rock and Edinburgh Castle. The large rectangular building on the right is the New Barracks, built in 1799 to house 600 soldiers; today, it houses the regimental headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys), as well as the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum.
A tourism pamphlet for Edinburgh Castle.

The inside of the Edinburgh Castle tourism pamphlet shows a handful of the notable sights inside the castle and its grounds. 

The forecourt in front of Edinburgh Castle, known as the Esplanade, located at the western end of the Royal Mile.  The Esplanade was created in 1753 as a parade ground for the castle's garrison and has, since 1950, been the site of the annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo; however, prior to 1753, this area was rugged, open terrain used to stage public executions of those accused of witchcraft, religious dissenters, and those who had wronged the sovereign.  The Royal Mile descends from the east side of Castle Rock, down a slope formed by glacial debris left behind after the end of the Ice Age.  A lineup has already formed a half hour prior to the 9:30am opening of the castle.           

In the Esplanade in front of Edinburgh Castle stand several statues and monuments, including a statue of Field Marshal His Royal Highness Frederick Duke of York and Albany, K.G., Commander in Chief of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars (1763-1827).  Frederick is best remembered for his important reforms to the structure, administration, and recruiting of the British Army.   

A monument to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of the Scottish Horse who were killed in action and died of wounds in the South African War (Second Boer War), 1900-1902. 

The Gatehouse at the head of the Esplanade, added to Edinburgh Castle for purely cosmetic reasons in 1888. The statues of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace standing in alcoves on either side of the entryway were added in 1929 to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Bruce's death. The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland is mounted above the gate, with the Latin phrase 'Nemo me impune lacessit' ('No one provokes me with impunity') underneath; this motto is the national motto of the Kingdom of Scotland, and has its origins as the motto of the Royal Stuart Dynasty from the reign of James VI (1567-1625). A short bridge crosses a dry ditch in front of the gatehouse, which was dug in 1742.

A site map of Edinburgh Castle, provided to paying visitors.

All of the various sights, historic buildings, and guest services at Edinburgh Castle are clearly marked on the site map. 

After passing through the main gate, visitors to Edinburgh Castle proceed up the ascending cobblestone road built by King James III in 1464 to transport cannons to the castle's various batteries. To the right are group and pre-paid ticket offices and the castle's gift shop, which was formerly a gun platform until roofed over and converted into a guardhouse and prison around 1850.

The Portcullis Gate and Argyle Tower, the last gateway before entering the inner part of the castle grounds.  The Portcullis Gate replaced a round Constable's Tower destroyed in the Lang Siege of 1571-1573, and was built between 1574 and 1577.  The top storey of the gatehouse was completed in 1584 and modified in 1750.  In 1887, the original gatehouse was replaced by the current one, named the Argyle Tower (after the 9th Earl of Argyll), though the Portcullis Gate itself remains the original from 1577.

The sharpened bottom of the Portcullis Gate is visible as visitors pass through the entrance into the castle grounds.  A portcullis is a heavy, vertically-closing gate found in typical medieval fortifications.  This gate originally comprised four sets of barriers: the iron portcullis and three pairs of heavy wooden doors.

Immediately inside the Portcullis Gate is the Argyle Battery, facing north and overlooking Princes Street below.  The Argyle Battery was named after the 2nd Duke of Argyll, commander of an army that halted the advance of a larger force of Jacobites at Sheriffmuir in 1715.  The guns lining the Argyle Battery are muzzle-loading 18-pounders manufactured in 1810.

On the right, leading up to the summit of Castle Rock, are the Lang Stairs, which served as the main means of access to the summit during the Middle Ages.  The more gradually ascending roadway was ordered created by King James III in the 15th century to ease the passage of heavy guns to the castle's various batteries.   

Looking up the 70 steps of the Lang Stairs, which lead up to the summit of Castle Rock.

The six-gun Argyle Battery, part of the defensive improvements ordered by General George Wade, Commander in Chief of His Majesty's forces, castles, forts and barracks in North Britain, and built between 1730 and 1732 during the era of the Jacobite Risings.  Wade is famous for the 240 miles of military roads and 30 bridges he designed and oversaw construction of throughout the Scottish Highlands to improve government control over the country.

A panoramic view northward, towards downtown Edinburgh, from Edinburgh Castle's Argyle Battery.  Princes Street runs from left to right, bordered on its southern edge by the Princes Street Gardens and the rail lines leading into Edinburgh's Waverley Station.

Two muzzle-loading 18-pounder cannons surrounded by stone walls comprising part of the castle's artillery defences. 

A 105mm Light Gun at the Mills Mount Battery, the current location used for the firing of the One o'Clock Gun as well as gun salutes on special occasions.  In the era before precision timekeeping, one o'clock in the afternoon was marked by firing a gun from Edinburgh Castle, to which listeners (including mariners aboard ships in the nearby Firth of Forth) could set their clocks.  However, as sound travels relatively slowly (340 metres per second), listeners at a distance from the gun had to factor in the time delay; thus, residents of Leith, located four kilometres to the northeast of the castle, would know the real time was 10 seconds past one o'clock when they heard the gun.

A view of the Argyle Battery (left), with buildings on the summit of Castle Rock visible above.  The staircase (centre) descends to a lookout and an exhibit on the history of the One o'Clock Gun. 

An Ordnance QF 25-pounder gun, designed in 1940, and formerly used to fire the One o'Clock Gun before the adoption of the current 105mm Light Gun.  The tradition of firing a gun at Edinburgh Castle at one o'clock was adopted in 1861. 

The roadway climbs from the Argyle Battery to the Upper Ward of the castle, at the summit of Castle Rock.

The Georgian-era Governor's House, built in 1742 as the official residence of the castle's Governor, with houses in the wings for the Master Gunner and the Storekeeper.

When the position of Governor was eliminated in 1876, the Governor's House was left vacant and then used to house nurses of the castle hospital.  Since the 1936 restoration of the honorary title of Castle Governor, given to the General Officer commanding the Army in Scotland, the building serves as the office of the Governor and as an officers' mess.
Designed by General William Skinner, Chief Engineer in North Britain, and originally built in 1753 as one of two ordnance warehouses for arms and ammunition within the castle grounds, this building and the the adjacent military hospital, built in 1898, today house the National War Museum of Scotland.
A bronze equestrian statue of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, KT, GCB, OM, GCVO KCIE (1861-1928).  The plaque reads, 'This statue was presented to the City of Edinburgh by Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji of Bombay in admiration of the services rendered to the British Empire by the Field Marshal'.  Originally installed on the Esplanade in front of the castle entrance in 1923, the statue was moved to its present location almost 90 years later.  

The Entrance to the former south ordnance storehouse now housing the National War Museum of Scotland, which traces the history of Scottish arms from the formation of the first standing army in the 1600s to the present day. Admission to the museum is included with admission to Edinburgh Castle.

A 25-pounder field gun, the standard British field artillery weapon of the Second World War, on display in the lobby of the National War Museum of Scotland.  Several Scottish regiments of the Territorial Army were equipped with the 25-pounder gun, which could fire high explosive shells to a range of 12.23 kilometres, or be used against moving armoured targets at closer ranges.  The 25-pounder gun was used by the Royal Artillery between 1940 and 1967, and by the armies of more than 30 other nations.  Of 12,000 25-pounder guns manufactured, more than a quarter were made in Scotland.    

The ship's bell from the Town-class light cruiser HMS Edinburgh, sunk by a German U-boat on 30 April 1942 while sailing as part of a convoy from Murmansk, Russia to Iceland.  HMS Edinburgh was carrying gold bullion as payment for weapons manufactured in the United States and provided to Russia; in 1986, an Aberdeen-based salvage company recovered the ship's bell and 5.5 tons of gold bullion during a diving operation.   

A propeller from a Sopwith Baby seaplane piloted by Flight Lieutenant Ronald Graham of the Royal Naval Air Service in 1916-1917.  Bullet holes in the propeller were caused by the aircraft's own guns, which had to fire through the propeller without the assistance of an 'interrupter' synchronising mechanism.  Graham was based at Dunkirk, France as part of the St Pol Seaplane Defence Flight tasked with providing air cover for the Royal Navy's North Sea Fleet.  The propeller was replaced after the action in which Flt Lt Graham shot down an enemy seaplane. Graham remained in the Royal Air Force until 1948, retiring with the rank of Air Vice-Marshal.

A carved wooden cherub figure of a Scottish soldier, dating from around 1720 and, until 1839, part of the decor of the Old Chelsea Bun-House, a London coffee shop located close to the Royal Hospital for discharged soldiers.  The figure wears the uniform of the Royal North British Fusiliers, a Scottish infantry regiment formed in 1678, and equipped with the fusil musket from which the unit took its title.  A thistle badge on the figure's cap denotes the unit's Scottish lineage.

A gun manufactured in 1642 by James Monteith of Edinburgh for the Scottish army and similar to  guns used by the Swedish army under King Gustavus Adolphus. Gustavus Adolphus was the first general to make use of lightweight leather and copper guns that could be easily transported around the battlefield, and the design would have been brought back to Scotland by Scottish soldiers in service with the Swedish army at that time.  This gun was installed as part of the defences of the Indian city of Bharatpur, which fell to British forces in 1826, and it is speculated that it might have been captured from Scottish forces by the English and successively sold onward until making its way to India.  Gifted to Captain Lewis Carmichael as a reward for his gallantry in the 1826 operation, Carmichael realised the historical importance of the gun and donated it to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1829.  

The King's Colour, one of two such flags carried by the Reay Fencible (Highland) Regiment between 1796 and 1801.  The King's Colour was carried by Scottish regiments following the Union of England and Scotland in 1707.  The Reay Fencible (Highland) Regiment was raised by Lord Reay, chief of the clan Mackay, whose ancestors had commanded a regiment of Mackay men in the Swedish army of King Gustavus Adolphus.

A collection of artefacts commemorating Admiral Adam Duncan (1731-1804), who won a great victory over the Dutch fleet at Camperdown on 11 October 1797.  Duncan's success removed the threat of a French invasion of Britain at a time when growing overseas military commitments, naval mutinies, and political unrest had left Britain vulnerable.  Duncan became a Scottish national hero for his victory. 

An 1832 portrait of Captain Hugh Campbell Wilson of Sornbeg in the Scottish county of Ayrshire.  Campbell was an officer of the army of the British East India Company, seeing action in Burma in 1824.  Many Scots joined the British Army, Royal Navy, or the East India Company, which administered British India.

An 1830 portrait of Lieutenant General Sir Archibald Campbell, who commanded successful military operations against Burma.  The portrait was painted during Campbell's return to Britain, though it is believed that, in a military career spanning 51 years, Campbell likely spent less than nine years in Britain.  

The Scottish royal standard flown by a New Zealand infantry unit during the German invasion of Crete in 1941. Wishing to show off their Scottish ancestry, the men of the Otago-based 23rd Battalion of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force flew this standard while engaged in heavy fighting at the Cretan village of Galatas.  The flag was recovered by a Greek soldier after the battle and safeguarded by Greek partisans throughout the war, being handed back to British military authorities after Crete's liberation in 1945.

A painting of the battlecruiser HMS Courageous in dry dock at Rosyth in 1918 by Charles Pears, one of the Official War Artists assigned to the Royal Navy during the First World War.  The growth of the Royal Navy in the early 20th century necessitated new bases for the fleet on the east coast of Scotland, with the base at Rosyth on the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh being established in 1903.  Rosyth became the home of the Battlecruiser Squadron of the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet throughout the First World War.  

A display of recruiting posters for British forces, and especially Scottish regiments.

Recruiting posters for the Royal Scots regiment, the Gordon Highlanders, the Royal Air Force, and the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

A Royal Navy recruiting poster from the interwar period, calling for 'intelligent and well-educated boys and youths of good character' and using the image of the powerful new battlecruiser HMS Hood to inspire potential sailors. 

A recruiting poster for the Scots Guards, one of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army with a lineage dating back to 1642.

A colourful recruiting poster for the Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment), linking 20th century recruits to the regiment's forbears in 1633.

A recruiting poster for the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's), a line infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 2006.

A doublet of a soldier of the 78th (Highland) Regiment, with a variety of special badges indicating the rank, seniority, conduct, and skills of the wearer.  The two chevrons on the upper sleeve denote the rank of Corporal, while the crossed axes indicate that this soldier served with the pioneers, a unit specially tasked with clearing roads and repairing barracks and camps.  The five chevrons on the lower sleeve represent 23 years of service with good conduct, with each chevron earning the soldier a pay increase of one penny a day. 

The painting 'Under Orders' (1882), by Robert Gemmel Hutchison, depicting the men  of the 1st Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) saying farewell to family and friends in a barrack room in Edinburgh Castle prior to their deployment to Egypt on active service.  

British and Allied decorations awarded to Colonel Sir Alexander Anderson, a distinguished officer who fought in the wars against France, 1801-1814.  Anderson served several years in the Portuguese army, thereby missing out on promotion within the British army.  

A painting of an officer of the 81st (Highland) Regiment, circa 1780, showing elements of traditional highland dress combined with the red coat and weapons of the 18th century British Army.  With demands for more troops to fight the rebels in the American Revolution, the British Army raised eight new regiments in the Scottish Highlands for service in North America and to garrison colonial possessions elsewhere in the Empire.  

The National War Museum of Scotland's most famous painting is 'The Thin Red Line', depicting the 93rd Highlanders at the Crimean War Battle of Balaclava in 1854.  Painted by Robert Gibb in 1881, the painting reflects the reputation of the Highland regiments that had been firmly implanted in the public imagination by this time.  At the Battle of Balaclava, the 93rd Highlanders defeated a Russian cavalry attack by forming a line only two men deep to increase the effectiveness of their fire. The war correspondent for The Times described the 93rd Highlanders' appearance as 'a thin red streak tipped with a line of steel', which was adapted to the 'thin red line' phrase used as the painting's title.  Unlike the depiction in the painting, however, the Russians were in reality checked much further away from the Scottish line thanks to accurate fire from modern rifles.      

A display of tartans and other accoutrements of the Highland soldier.  Highland regimental uniforms became progressively more elaborate during the 19th century as Queen Victoria's infatuation with the Scottish Highlands created public enthusiasm and a romantic image of the Highland soldier and his homeland.  Whereas Highlanders had previously been viewed as rebellious and uncouth, by the end of the 19th century their popular image was that of the ideal soldiers of the British Empire.  Because 19th century officers paid for their own uniforms and kit, the highland regiments tended to attract the wealthy and fashionable officers of the army who could afford the added expense. 

A doublet worn by a bagpiper of the 1st Battalion The Black Watch during the ceremonial handover of the British colony of Hong Kong to China in 1997.

A recruiting poster for the Territorial Force units based in the Scottish city of Dundee, circa 1910.  As the Territorial Force was intended to defend Britain so that the regular British Army could be deployed overseas, it required all of the support units of a modern army.  Although the poster assures potential recruits that they could not be forced to serve overseas, many of the men who joined the Territorial Force in Dundee would go on to volunteer for service on the Western Front during the First World War.

A portrait of Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Keyes, who raised a troop of No. 11 (Scottish) Commando in 1940 and trained with it in Scotland before launching an attack on what was incorrectly believed to be the house of German Afrika Korps commander General Irwin Rommel in Libya in November 1941.  Lt Col Keyes was killed in the attack and was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.   

The medals of General Lord Mark Kerr, who repeatedly demanded that his 13th Regiment be allowed to see action.  The regiment fought in the Crimean War in 1855 and in the Indian Mutiny Campaign in 1857, as well as the relief of Azimghur in India in 1858.  The medals on display here include a star and badge of a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (upper row). 

A gallery with display cases filled with decorations and personal affects of several notable Scottish military figures.

A bust of Admiral Adam Duncan, 1st Viscount Duncan, produced by the London firm of Chetham and Woolley in 1798 as a souvenir to commemorate Duncan's victory over the Dutch fleet at Camperdown the year before.  Along with portrait miniatures, medallions, and prints, the bust was just one of several souvenirs produced in commercial quantities to celebrate Duncan as a national hero.  

Visitors to the National War Museum of Scotland pore over display cases filled with artefacts from Scotland's rich military history.

The painting entitled 'Closing the Gates at Hougoumont' (1903) by Robert Gibb, which depicts a turning point during the 18 June 1815 Battle of Waterloo when 30 French soldiers forced the north gate and entered the grounds of the chateau of Hougoumont.  Men of the Coldstream Guards and the Scots Guards were able to forcibly shut the gates, preventing more French soldiers from entering, and then kill the 30 who had forced their way in.  Located in front of the right of the Allied line, the chateau of Hougoumont was a vital strategic point on the battlefield and was attacked repeatedly by French infantrymen throughout 18 June but held out until the end of the battle.         

A painting entitled 'The Storming of Tel el-Kebir' (1883) by the famous French military artist Alphonse Marie de Neuville.  The scene shows the 1st Battalion The Black Watch attacking enemy defences at dawn during the Egyptian campaign of 1882.  Officers present at the battle advised de Neuville in order to ensure a high degree of accuracy in the painting. 

'The Battle of Camperdown' (1848), painted by William Adolphus Knell and depicting Admiral Adam Duncan's victory over the Dutch fleet on 11 October 1797.  The ship in right foreground is Duncan's flagship, HMS Venerable, which is shown firing a broadside into Dutch Admiral de Winter's badly-damaged flagship, Vryheid

The medals and decorations of General Sir Ian Hamilton, the commander of the disastrous Gallipoli expedition in 1915.  Before his reputation was destroyed by the failure at Gallipoli, leading to his removal from command, Hamilton had enjoyed a highly successful military career and received numerous decorations, as well as being twice recommended for the Victoria Cross.  The decorations displayed here include the star and badge of a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath; the star and badge of a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George; the star of a Grand Officer of the French Legion of Honour; the Distinguished Service Order (awarded 1891); and medals from campaigns in Afghanistan, Egypt, India, and South Africa. 

The entrance to the Regimental Museum of the The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys), a cavalry regiment of the British Army and the senior Scottish regiment, with a lineage tracing back to 1678.  The current regimental name was created in 1971 upon the amalgamation of The Royal Scots Greys (Second Dragoons) and the 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales Dragoon Guards). The museum is housed in a portion of the New Barracks, built in 1799 during the Napoleonic Wars and designed to house an entire infantry battalion of 600 officers and men. 

A mannequin dressed as a late-17th century Scottish Dragoon.  Dragoons were armed, organised, and equipped like infantrymen but mounted on horseback to enable them to move across terrain much more quickly than ordinary foot soldiers.  Dragoons' lower rate of pay also made them cheaper than cavalrymen.  As the choice of uniforms in the 1600s was left up to each regiment's commanding officer, this mannequin is dressed in the grey coat adopted by Dalzell's Dragoons.       

A 20th century model of a mounted trooper of the 2nd Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys) as depicted circa 1815.  This sculpture was created by Neil Ballantyne and inspired by the painting, Lady Butler's 'Charge of the Greys'.  The Royal Scots Greys, along with the 1st (Royal) Dragoons and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, formed the Union Brigade of cavalry in the Duke of Wellington's expeditionary force dispatched to Flanders to fight Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815.   

A display case holds a full-dress coatee (pattern 1798-1812) and an officer's helmet (pattern 1812-1822) from the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers).  The helmet is made of hardened leather reinforced by gilded brass and copper and offered better protection than the cocked hats previously worn by soldiers of heavy cavalry units in 1812. The coatee is a cut-down full-length coat with its tails turned back, and features regimental pattern silver lace and regimental buttons; it would have been worn for parade duties and not in battle.

The standard of the French 45th Regiment of Infantry, captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart of the 2nd Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys) at the Battle of Waterloo, 18 June 1815.  The Royal Scots Greys suffered 102 fatalities and 98 wounded at the Battle of Waterloo, as well as 170 horses killed and 70 wounded, representing half of the regiment's strength.

A case displaying the full dress tunic and decorations of Major General Henry Leader, who was a Major commanding C Squadron of the Carabiniers during the Second South African War, 1899-1902.  Also displayed are an officer's pattern 1895 Heavy Cavalry sword and scabbard from a member of the 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards, circa 1900; and an officer's regimental pattern sword from a member of the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers), circa 1902-1910.    

A scale model of a typical cavalry trooper and his horse in the period 1916-1918 during a stand-down from the front line.  The trooper wears a khaki service dress uniform and equipment of the pattern introduced in 1908, while his steel helmet was introduced in 1916.  His weapon is a Short Magazine Lee Enfield rifle, No. 1, Mk III, holding 10 rounds of .303 ammunition and stowed in a leather scabbard fastened to the saddle.  Additional .303 rounds in five-round clips are attached to the bandolier worn across the trooper's chest.  The trooper's sword is of a pattern introduced for all cavalrymen in 1908, and he wears puttees around his legs and spurs on his boots.  

A display case on the cavalry regiments' actions during the Second World War.  On the left are a Nazi flag taken from a town hall by a tank commander of the Royal Scots Greys during the drive through Lower Saxony in 1945; a Japanese flag painted with blessings captured by the 25th Dragoons during the Burma campaign in 1945; and a Japanese officer's sword (katana) captured by a trooper of the 3rd Carabiniers at Irrawaddy, Burma, 1945.  The Royal Navy White Ensign displayed at the rear of the case was flown by a landing craft that carried a troop of C Squadron of the Royal Scots Greys on their first amphibious landing at Salerno, Italy on 9 September 1943; it was given to the troop commander by the craft's commanding officer as a good luck charm.      

A diorama depicting Sherman tanks of C Squadron, Royal Scots Greys battling German forces in the final stages of the week-long battle to establish a beachhead at Salerno, Italy, 16 September 1943.  This scene depicts the dragoons carrying out a sweep to clear the enemy flank and enable British forces to break out of the beachhead.     

A few of the decorations awarded to Field Marshal Sir William Robertson (1860-1933), the first and only soldier to rise through all ranks to become a Field Marshal of the British Army.  Robertson joined the army in 1877 after working as a domestic servant and was commissioned as an officer after 11 years.  He served as Quartermaster-General in 1914 and as Chief of the Imperial General Staff in 1915-1918.  Clashes with the Prime Minister over priorities and war strategy caused Robertson to resign as Chief of the Imperial General Staff in 1918, and he took over as Commander-in-Chief Home Forces.  In 1919-1920, Robertson commanded the British Army on the Rhine in occupied Germany and was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal in 1920.  The decorations on display here include The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Military Division (1917); The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (1919); The Royal Victorian Order (1931); the French Legion of Honour (1915); and Japan's Order of the Rising Sun (1918).  

The building containing the offices and library of The Royal Scots Guards Museum, as well as the regimental headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.  This building is not open to the public.

The exterior of the Museum of The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) and the Royal Regiment of Scotland.  Admission is included in the admission ticket for Edinburgh Castle. This museum is housed in the former Drill Hall.

A mannequin dressed as a piper of The Royal Scots at the entrance to the regimental museum.  The museum tells the story in chronological order of The Royal Scots and the Royal Regiment of Scotland, the British Army's oldest and youngest infantry regiments, respectively.  The Royal Scots was raised in 1633 under King Charles I to serve Louis XIII of France before joining the British establishment in 1678.  The Royal Regiment of Scotland was formed in 2006 as a result of the merger of six regular and two reserve Scottish infantry regiments. 

A diorama depicting the mortally wounded Ensign Kennedy being carried off the battlefield by a sergeant at Waterloo (18 June 1815), still gripping the regiment's Colours, which he refused to let go of.  The French forces which The Royal Scots were fighting at Waterloo were so impressed by Kennedy's dedication that they withheld their fire until Kennedy had been carried back to the ranks of the regiment.  

A display on The Royal Scots' service during the Crimean War.

A display of regimental drums, which were used to signal the 'Calls', telling soldiers what to do in battle and in camp.  Joined by the regimental fifes, they also provided music during marches.  Following the Crimean War, the Fifes and Drums of Scottish regiments were gradually replaced by the Pipes and Drums.  In action, drummers were stationed in the centre of the regiment, next to the Colours; to lose the drums in battle was a great disgrace as it indicated that the regiment had been routed by the enemy.  Drummers were paid a few pence more than ordinary soldiers and wore more elaborate uniforms.  They also were tasked with administering flogging punishment under the supervision of the senior drummer, the Drum Major.  Decorated with heraldry and the regiment's Battle Honours, the drums are periodically replaced as with the Colours, and new Colours are draped over stacked drums before their presentation to the regiment.  The mace held by the mannequin was used continuously by the 1st Battalion The Royal Scots between 1890 and 1984.     

Visitors gaze upon a display of medals awarded to members of The Royal Scots Regiment.  Over the course of its history, The Royal Scots Regiment has won 147 Battle Honours, from Tangier in 1680, through all of the major battles of the Duke of Wellington during the Napoleonic Wars, India, China, the Crimean and Boer Wars, both World Wars, and the Gulf War.   

The final gallery of the museum, exhibiting a number of artefacts from the 20th century history of The Royal Scots Regiment.  During the First World War, The Royal Scots Regiment grew to over 100,000 men in 35 battalions, suffering 11,213 killed and over 40,000 wounded, but with six Victoria Crosses awarded to its soldiers.

A diorama depicting today's members of The Royal Scots and The Royal Regiment of Scotland.  As a signboard notes, The Royal Regiment of Scotland was formed on 28 March 2006 and comprises four Regular Army battalions and two Reserve Army battalions, as well as a Public Duties Company.

Proceeding up the inclined roadway to the Upper Ward of the castle, on the summit of Castle Rock.

Foog's Gate, built in the late 1600s during a massive re-fortification project ordered by King Charles II.  This was the main entrance to the Upper Ward of the castle by the 18th century.  The gate allows entry through the perimeter wall, which features loops (openings) for both cannons and muskets, and which was built during the reign of King Charles II (1660-1685).  Adjacent to the gates are large cisterns built to reduce Edinburgh Castle's dependency on well water.  

The rear side of the Scottish National War Memorial, built in 1927 to commemorate Scots who died in the First World War and today serving as a shrine to the fallen of two World Wars and other conflicts since 1945.

Looking down at the Argyle Battery, Mills Mount Battery, and the Cartsheds (now the Redcoat Cafe) from the Upper Ward above.  The Cartshed was built in the 1600s as a storekeeper's house and was extended to the front in 1746 to form a cartshed, used to house the 50 carts which supplied the garrison with provisions brought up from the town.  These carts could also be used to support the garrison if it deployed out of Edinburgh Castle.

Mons Meg, a 15th century siege cannon weighing six tonnes and capable of firing a 330-pound cannonball up to two miles (3.2 kilometres).  Constructed out of wrought iron near the city of Mons, Belgium in 1449, Mons Meg was given as a wedding gift to James II, King of Scotland, in 1457 by Philip III, Duke of Burgundy, whose niece, Mary of Guelders, had married James.  To transport the giant cannon, gangs of labourers levelled the road and the gun was pulled on a reinforced carriage by a large team of horses or oxen, averaging a mere nine miles (15 kilometres) a day.  The gun carriage upon which Mons Meg sits today was built in 1934 and modelled on one likely used for James V's naval expedition to Scotland's Western Isles in 1540. 

Mons Meg was considered the cutting edge of military technology in the 1400s, and its awesome destructive power reinforced the prestige of Scotland's kings.  Designed to smash through castle walls, Mons Meg was wedged into place with wooden blocks, with gunners adjusting the elevation and direction of the 19-inch (48cm) wide barrel. To fire the cannon, the gunners poured gunpowder down the barrel, rammed in a wad of straw, and rolled in the cannonball; a smouldering taper was then touched to a hole in the cannon's powder chamber to ignite the gunpowder inside.  Mons Meg was deployed by James IV in 1489 to destroy rebel strongholds at Duchal, Crookston, and Dumbarton in the west of Scotland and, in 1497, it was used to bombard Norham Castle in Northumberland, England.  The last time Mons Meg was fired in anger was during the Lang Seige of Edinburgh Castle in 1571-1573, during the civil war following the abdication of Mary Queen of Scots in 1567.  Given its increasing obsolescence by the late 16th century, Mons Meg was relegated to royal salutes and fired its last salute in 1681 during a visit to Edinburgh Castle by the future King James VII; it was during this salute that Mons Meg's barrel burst, damage from which can be seen today.  Carted off to storage at the Tower of London with other artillery pieces in 1754 after the Jacobite Risings, Mons Meg was returned to Edinburgh Castle on 9 March 1829 at the order of King George IV.  

St Margaret's Chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh Castle and in the city of Edinburgh, built around 1130 and likely once part of a great stone tower.  Built at the direction of King David I (reigned 1124-1153), the Romanesque building was constructed as a private chapel for the royal family and was dedicated to David's mother, Saint Margaret of Scotland, who died in Edinburgh Castle in 1093.  The chapel's medieval origins can be seen in its squared stones, distinctive windows, and decorated arch.  

Surviving the destruction of the castle's defences ordered by King Robert Bruce in 1314 following his defeat of the castle's English occupiers, St Margaret's Chapel fell into disuse after the Protestant Reformation of the 1560s and was thereafter used as a gunpowder storehouse, when its current barrel-vaulted roof was built.  Later serving as a storeroom at the western end of the castle's 18th century garrison chapel, St Margaret's was 're-discovered' in 1845 and restored in 1851-1852 with the enthusiastic support of Queen Victoria. 

Light shines into the interior of St Margaret's Chapel through several small, stained glass windows added to St Margaret's in 1922 and commemorating a number of Scottish saints and heroes.  This window depicts Saint Margaret of Scotland (c.1045 to 16 November 1093), mother of King David I.  An English princess, Margaret fled to the Kingdom of Scotland following the Norman invasion of England in 1066 and married Scottish King Malcolm III in 1070, becoming Queen of Scots.  Dying days after receiving news of her husband's and eldest son's deaths in the Battle of Alnwick in 1093, Margaret's body was smuggled out of Edinburgh Castle past a besieging army and entombed in Dunfermline.  In 1250, Margaret was canonised by Pope Innocent IV in recognition of her piety and learning. 

Another of the colourful stained glass windows in St Margaret's Chapel.  This window depicts Saint Columba (521-597), an Irish abbot and Evangelist credited with spreading Celtic Christianity amongst the pagan northern Pictish kingdoms of Scotland.

Visitors look at the small altar in the semi-circular chancel of St Margaret's Chapel.  The five-foot Romanesque chancel arch overhead features chevron motifs.  The interior of the chapel measures 10 feet wide and 16 feet long, with outer walls measuring two feet thick.

A look at the chancel, containing the altar. Three small, narrow stained glass windows allow in natural light.  St Margaret's Chapel is today maintained by the St Margaret's Chapel Guild, which always ensures that there are fresh flowers to welcome guests. 

Located on a ledge at the summit of Castle Rock is a small cemetery established in the 19th century for the burial of regimental mascot dogs.     

The Royal Palace (left) and the Scottish National War Memorial (right), as seen from the Half-Moon Battery.

The Royal Palace, the principal royal residence from the 11th century to the early 17th century, as well as the birthplace of King James VI on 19 June 1566.  Originally an extension of David's Tower, the Royal Palace likely contains elements from three separate towers of the 1400s, and served as an important symbol of royal power. The Honours of Scotland (the Scottish crown jewels, comprising the Crown, Sceptre, and Sword of State) were also housed here and remain on display to the public in the Crown Room.  

The Half-Moon Battery, built after the Lang Siege of 1571-1573 and completed in 1588, was the high-level defence of the castle's east side, designed to protect the Royal Palace from bombardment.  The platform on which the Half-Moon Battery was built lies atop the ruins of David's Tower, the royal residence of Robert Bruce's son, King David II (1329-1371) that was destroyed during the civil war following the abdication of Mary Queen of Scots and only rediscovered in 1912.  Originally equipped until 1716 with seven bronze guns cast in Edinburgh Castle under King James IV, the cannons currently displayed here date from around 1810. 

An authentic medieval cannonball, possibly fired against Edinburgh Castle by an English catapult in the siege of 1296, during the Wars of Scottish Independence.    

Visitors line up in Crown Square outside the Royal Palace to see an exhibit on the history of the Honours of Scotland and to file past the actual crown jewels on display in the Crown Room.  The Honours of Scotland were locked up in an oak chest in the Crown Room following the Act of Union between England and Scotland on 7 March 1707 and only rediscovered in 1818 by historian Sir Walter Scott. Photography of the crown jewels is strictly prohibited by attentive staff. Crown Square was laid out in the later 1400s as the castle's principal courtyard, surrounded by the Royal Palace; the Great Hall; the Royal Gunhouse; and St Mary's, the Chapel Royal.  As the southeastern side of the summit of Castle Rock was the safest, protected by sheer cliffs, this location was perfectly suited to be the royal heart of Edinburgh Castle.  Originally called the Palace Yard and then the Grand Parade, Crown Square's grand open space was inspired by ideas from European courts.

A series of interpretive displays leading to the Crown Room containing the Honours of Scotland includes this diorama, depicting the Abbot of Dunfermline presenting a Sword of State to King James IV in 1507 on behalf of Pope Julius II.  Like his father, James III, James IV was a recipient of a number of gifts from the papacy, including a Golden Rose and a silver-gilt Sceptre, as well as the blessed Sword of State and a beaded Consecrated Hat.  

A room in the Royal Palace tracing the lineage of Scotland's monarchs includes portraits and information on King Charles I (left) and his son, Charles II (right).  Charles I's insistence on the divine right of kings, his battles with the armies of the English and Scottish parliaments in the English Civil War, and his refusal to accept demands for a constitutional monarchy led to his trial, conviction, and execution for high treason in 1649.  With the collapse of the English republic under Oliver Cromwell, Charles II ascended the restored throne in 1660 and reigned until his death on 6 February 1685. 

Laich Hall in the Royal Palace.  The Royal Palace was extensively remodelled in advance of the 1617 visit by King James VI, his first visit to his Scottish homeland since ascending the English throne in 1603 following the death of Queen Elizabeth I.  James VI hosted a single banquet in this room to celebrate his 50th anniversary as the King of Scots before returning to England.  James VI's coat of arms as the first King of Great Britain, Ireland, and Scotland hangs above the 15th century fireplace in Laich Hall, and features a Scottish unicorn and an English lion.  The last royal visit was in 1633, when James VI's son, Charles I, stayed at the palace in Edinburgh Castle before his Scottish coronation.  Following this, the palace was converted into accommodations for the army.  Centuries of neglect degraded Laich Hall, which was also damaged in an explosion in 1971; however, starting in 1997, painstaking restoration work has returned Laich Hall to its former 17th century splendour.       

A portrait of King James VI of Scotland, who inherited the English crown upon the death of the childless Queen Elizabeth I in 1603 and thus also became King James I of England. This portrait is by an unknown artist based on a painting by Paul van Somer in about 1618.  James VI promised to return regularly to Scotland after his accession to the English throne, but in fact made only one visit to his homeland in 22 years and died on 27 March 1625.

The Scottish National War Memorial on Crown Square, housed on the site formerly occupied by the castle church of St Mary and in a former barrack block.  The Memorial was opened by the Prince of Wales on 14 July 1927 and honours Scottish soldiers and those who served in Scottish regiments in two World Wars and more recent conflicts. While photography inside the Memorial is forbidden, the walls are adorned with monuments and plaques commemorating individual regiments, as well as the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, and other British military formations.  The altar in the shrine of the Memorial holds a sealed casket containing the Rolls of Honour listing over 147,000 names of soldiers killed in the First World War.  

The exterior of the Great Hall, built between 1503 and 1512 at the direction of King James IV as a majestic setting for ceremonial occasions.  In 1650, during the English Commonwealth (republic), the Great Hall was converted into a three-storey soldiers' barracks by Oliver Cromwell. Later, in 1799, following the construction of the New Barracks at Edinburgh Castle, the Great Hall was remodelled into a military hospital until being restored to its present look in 1887 by Edinburgh-born architect Hippolyte Blanc.  Today, the Great Hall is used for State and Royal functions, as well as being open to visitors to Edinburgh Castle. 

The interior of the Great Hall. It was here that James IV, King of the Scots, would host diplomatic events and grand feasts to demonstrate his power, prestige, and good taste.  The 500-year old hammerbeam roof timbers came from oaks and one pine cut down in Norway in 1505-1509, as suitable timber in Scotland was difficult to find by the late 1400s.  The main roof trusses are held up by ornately-carved stone corbels with royal and national symbols linked to the king, as well as symbols celebrating piety and James IV's love for his wife, Mary Tudor of England.   

One of several tall, ornate stained glass windows in the Great Hall.

It is believed that James IV entertained the Irish chief Hugh O'Donnell of Tyrconnell in the Great Hall in 1513 on the occasion of their signature of a treaty as the Scots prepared for war with England.  James IV died only months later at the Battle of Flodden, 9 September 1513.  In 1561, Mary Queen of Scots hosted a banquet in the Great Hall following her return from France.  The painting hanging on the rear wall of the Great Hall is by Richard Ansdell and depicts the moment when Royal Scots Greys cavalryman Sergeant Charles Ewart captured a French regimental eagle and colours at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.  The Great Hall was used as a military hospital in the 1800s to treat wounded soldiers from the war against France.   

The elaborate floor tiling and medieval armour & weaponry displays recall the lavish decoration of the Great Hall in the 1500s.  A barred window on the wall above and to the right of the fireplace, known as the Laird's Lug, was used by the king to spy on his courtiers below.  After the capture of the castle by English general Oliver Cromwell in 1650, the Great Hall was converted into a three-storey military barracks housing 310 soldiers in cramped, noisy, smelly, and unsanitary conditions.  Public pressure in the Victorian era led to the military's withdrawal from the Great Hall and the room was restored in 1887-1892 by architect Hippolyte Blanc, who added the fireplace with its statues inspired by medieval poetry.

The recreated prison vaults of Edinburgh Castle, restored to look as they may have in 1781, at the height of the American Revolutionary War.  Prisoners, ranging from high-ranking political figures and enemy soldiers to pirates and common criminals were imprisoned at Edinburgh Castle from as early as 1197, with most incarcerations occurring from the 17th century onward.  Prisoners were confined in a variety of accommodations in the castle depending on their status, from dank, dark underground dungeons to luxurious, but closely guarded, apartments.     

Visitors are presented with a chronological timeline of Edinburgh Castle's prison and its prisoners in a corridor that was once part of a complex of rooms packed with prisoners of war during the American Revolutionary War. The first foreign prisoners of war held here were 78 crewmen from the armed French merchant vessel Chevalier Barte, captured in 1757 during the Seven Years' War.  By 1763, about 500 men, mostly enemy sailors, were being imprisoned at Edinburgh Castle, including Americans, French, Spaniards, Dutch, and Irish; over more than 50 years, from 1757 to 1815, the prison vaults were used to hold prisoners of war captured by British forces.  

A stone corridor leads into a dark prison vault.  

One of the prison vaults, used to house a large number of prisoners.  Overcrowding in the prison vaults led to a number of escape attempts, including the breakout of 49 prisoners of war in 1811, who drilled through a wall and climbed down the Castle Rock; one of the escapees died in the attempt and the remainder were re-captured.  The most troublesome prisoners in camps across Scotland were transferred to Edinburgh Castle and incarcerated in the vaults underneath the Great Hall.  With the defeat of Napoleon and the end of the war in 1815, Edinburgh Castle's inmates were repatriated and the now-empty prison vaults were converted into storage rooms.  During the First World War, German prisoners of war were incarcerated in Edinburgh Castle's prison vaults, including hundreds of crewman from German naval vessels and several German civilians suspected of being spies; several prominent socialists in Britain were also imprisoned in an attempt to quash social unrest during the war.         

Built in 1842 and expanded in the 1880s, this small prison was used to house offending soldiers of the castle's garrison and those of visiting regiments.  Each of the floors house eight solitary confinement cells and a toilet/ablution block, with a third floor housing the Provost-Marshal responsible for running the prison.  This facility closed in 1923 when the castle garrison moved to  the new Redford Barracks in the Edinburgh suburbs, but was brought back into service for the duration of the Second World War.    

One of the small, austere prison cells for military prisoners as it would have appeared in 1890.  Public revulsion at the brutality of flogging, the traditional form of military punishment, led to the adoption of imprisonment as an alternative from the mid-19th century and a consequent surge in prison construction, including this one at Edinburgh Castle.  The cells of Edinburgh Castle's military prison were designed according to the recommendations of an 1836 Royal Commission that investigated the system of military punishment, and included adequate ventilation, central heating, and basic furniture.  The scene depicted in this cell is of Private Robert Ewing of the 26th Cameronian Regiment, who was sentenced to two months of hard labour and two months of solitary confinement for being caught drunk on guard while stationed at Edinburgh Castle; he is seen here separating the strands of old tarred rope (oakum) for re-use, one of a variety of punishments in the category of 'hard labour', which could also include stone breaking or yard cleaning. 

One of the ablution blocks in the military prison, with a row of shower stalls.

A final view of Edinburgh Castle, high atop Castle Rock, as seen from the Princes Street Gardens on a bright spring day.

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