Proudly conspicuous yet strangely secretive, menacing but still homely and human, a defiant fortress which manages nevertheless to welcome and charm. Edinburgh Castle is a multitude of contrasts that harmonise perfectly. They have evolved into a genuine and magnetic personality that casts a spell on all who come here.
Castle Rock is where Edinburgh began. The site was inhabited - and probably fortified after a fashion - in prehistoric times. We know that when Lothian became a part of Scotland, King Malcolm III lived here with his Queen, Margaret, who died in 1093 and was later canonised. Her son, King David I, built a tiny and charming chapel to her memory. It remains to this day, the oldest surviving structure on Castle Rock.
Much damaged and often changing hands in the long and punishing wars of independence against England, Edinburgh Castle began to assume its present appearance in 1356 when King David II initiated his ambitious defensive works. In the fifteenth century King James III began using the Castle as an ordnance factory - which must have dramatically reduced its desirability as a residence!. The prominent Scottish Renaissance King James IV added the great Hall but the Castle was by then less a royal dwelling than a fortress guarding the Scottish Capital. As such it was sacked for the last time in 1573, falling to the English after Mary Queen of Scots was brought down. Her son, King James VI, was born in Edinburgh Castle. He later reunited the crowns of Scotland and England as James VI of Scotland and I of England.
From time to time it had been starved into submission or betrayed from within, but only twice was Edinburgh Castle ever captured in combat, once through an attacker's stratagem and once - fearsome thought - by direct frontal assault over the walls. On each occasion the victors were Scots vanquishing an English garrison.
In 1753 began the construction of the esplanade, the ceremonial parade ground in front of the Castle where the Tattoo now takes place.
Sixty years later the esplanade was broadened and prettified with walls and railings. The Development marked recognition that the Castle's function as a fortress had ended. Since the '45 its main use has been as a barracks while during the Napoleonic Wars it made a grim and effective prison for French captives. It has not had a garrison as such since 1914 though it is still continuously guarded, usually by Scottish soldiers. It houses the Honours of Scotland - our Crown Jewels, almost certainly the oldest Royal Regalia in Europe.
The Castle remains the headquarters of the 52nd Infantry Brigade and houses several regimental headquarters.
It is home to a number of military museums and contains the Scottish National War Memorial. Crown Square in Edinburgh's historic Castle was the scene for the 1944 National War Memorial Service. A guard of honour formed on the windswept esplanade and marched over the drawbridge up to the square.
Members of the Royal Artillery fire the famous one O'Clock gun at Edinburgh Castle. The one O'Clock gun at Edinburgh Castle is in exact synchronisation with the time ball in Calton Hill's Nelson Monument and Greenwich Mean Time.
Edinburgh Castle is Britain's second most popular tourist attraction. In a paradox of peacetime the very defences which make the Castle what it is also hamper the approaches both of visitors and of those who work there. Recently, therefore, engineers have driven a broad tunnel through the living rock and into the very heart of the Castle, bypassing at a stroke the accumulated fortification of centuries. Nevertheless, Edinburgh Castle still rises magnificently each year to the occasion of the Tattoo. All its atmosphere, power and majesty affirm that this was the proudest and mightiest fortress in the land, a residence and stronghold of kings.
The cache is NOT inside the castle. It is located to the West of the castle at the bottom of the castle rock. The area can be entered from either King's Stables Road or across the bridge from the Ross Fountain in Prince's Street Gardens.
The area of Castle Hill gets closed before and after any firework displays which are being set off from Edinburgh Castle. The main time for this is at Hogmanay. It also gets closed for various other reasons without much or no notice. So you must be prepared to find the gates locked. If you do find them locked, please don't climb them come back another time.
This cache is placed with permission from Historic Scotland – Edinburgh Castle.
The container is a regular size and leaving trackables shouldn't be a problem. However, due to the high traffic of holiday cachers a lot of trackables do tend to get taken and not logged out of the cache. So please be aware of this when you are leaving or taking trackables from this cache.
In August of 2015 new signs have been placed saying 'Steep Slope, Do Not Climb'. As already said Historic Scotland are in full knowledge of this cache and I believe the sign is to stop people from climbing up the rocks, as some people do. The cache is 'just' beyond the sign, up a small slope. There is no need to climb the STEEP slope/crags.
Yes, this year is Geocaching's 10th Anniversary! Here, in the UK we have decided to mark this momentous occasion by putting a series of caches under the title of 'GC10' all the way round the UK! Here are the other caches in the series:
GC10: Giants Causeway
GC10: Edinburgh Castle
GC10: Hadrians Wall
GC10: Angel of the North
GC10: White Cliffs of Dover
GC10: Blackpool Tower
GC10: Tower Bridge
GC10: Concrete Cows
GC10: Saltwell Park
GC10: The UK
We hope you enjoy the series!
With Thanks to The Jones', batsgonemad and his squirrel, Haggis Hunter, seamanrob, Wavendon Williams, goldpot and jackflet44 for setting up this series.