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marmal: Apologies for all the sloppiness and not reasonableness over the last ten years and 68 favourite points.


Not Edinburgh's Royal Mile

A cache by marmal Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/14/2004
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

A tourist friendly cache in the heart of Edinburgh.

This is a multi virtual cache with a micro cache at the end - too wee for swaps and bring your own pen!  This cache has a sister, but you can do them independently of each other.  While you can do the virtual parts anytime, it must be finished during the day in order to gain access to the final location as it is only open during office hours - and when there is daylight which can be quite early in the Winter so be warned!  Given the difficulty of receiving a signal due to the tall buildings, I will give you this clue: you will visit all sites in order as you progress down the Royal Mile, but that’s all the help you should need! Clues 1,2,4 & 6 can all be seen from the Royal Mile and 3 is only about 10 metres from it.  How easy do you want it?  After all, it’s all downhill from here…


Here’s a handy wee table for noting down the co-ords.


Andrew Gray

G -

Duke of Drumlanrig

K -

Marquis of Montrose

H -

Bonnie Prince Charlie

L -

David Riccio

J -

Daniel Defoe

M -


Edinburgh’s Royal Mile – one of the most famous streets in the World.  But it’s wrong on all 3 counts.  Mile?  It’s actually a little more than a mile, but you would expect a bit extra from us generous Scots!  Royal?  It has the Castle at one end and the Royal palace of Holyrood at the other but in between there have been so many shady and shameful things going on that royal is maybe not the best word to describe them.  Edinburgh?  Historically, only the places in the sister cache were inside Edinburgh – the ones in this one cache were all in Canongate that used to be a separate village outside the city walls. 


Canongate is named after the path that was formed by the monks as they walked from the city to Holyrood Abbey.  Monk’s or canon’s gate or walk, hence Canongate was the name given to the village that grew up here outside Edinburgh’s city walls.  It had its own Mercat Cross, which can still be seen in Canongate Kirkyard – have a look when seeking co-ordinate number 4.


To get a better feel for the place, I thought I would tell you about some of the people that also passed along this street in centuries gone by.  I hope you enjoy the trip.



1. Andrew Gray, The Moorish Pirate  N055.57.055 W003.11.050


When you arrive at the co-ordinates, you will be able to look up to see a sculpture of a Moorish figure and most of the stories concerning it relate to a local lad called Andrew Gray.  During the celebrations for the coronation of Charles I, Gray and his cronies took the opportunity to show their displeasure with the Lord Provost.  A riot ensued (at one time this was Edinburgh’s most popular participation sport) and when the ringleaders were finally arrested, Gray was sentenced to death.  But thanks to his connections, Gray was able to escape and flee the country.


Years passed and in 1645, Edinburgh was in the grip of the plague.  Streets were quiet, grass grew around the Mercat Cross and it was said that there were scarcely 60 men left able to defend the city from attack.  And now a large, well-armed vessel was sailing into Leith.  The crew landed and made their way to the city gates at the Netherbow Port (just up the street from where you are now – you can see the outline of the gates marked out by brass bricks in the cobblestones) to demand entry and a ransom.  Being in no position to resist, the Lord Provost began negotiations with the leader of the pirates.  During the talks, the pirate leader became rather taken with the pretty daughter of the Provost, but a problem was developing – she was coming down with the plague.  The pirate leader then made a surprising offer to the Provost, if the girl was entrusted to the his care and he failed to cure her, then he would leave immediately with no ransom.  Reluctantly, the Provost was persuaded to comply and took his daughter to the pirate leader who had now taken up residence near where you are now standing.  Within a few days she was restored to full health.  But who was this mysterious pirate leader?  None other than Andrew Gray, who had returned to Edinburgh looking to take revenge on the city.  The couple were married and lived at the head of the Canongate, adorning their house with an effigy of Gray’s patron, the Emperor of Morocco.  How many windows are there in the row to the right of the sculpture?  This will be co-ordinate G.


2. James Graham, Marquis of Montrose .  N055.57.068 W003.10.852


An astute general that fought against the Covenanters in 1644-45, his most hated adversary was Archibald Campbell, the 8th Earl and 1st Marquis of Argyll.  Despite some remarkable successes, Montrose was finally defeated at Carbisdale and was brought back to Edinburgh where he was given a death sentence.  Just to be sure he was dead, the sentence was for Montrose ‘To be hung from a gallows 30 feet high for 3 hours, his head cut off and hanged on the Tollboth, his arms and legs to be hanged up in other Towns of the Kingdom’.  That should do it, don’t you think?  As he was being escorted up the Royal Mile for the last time, he passed Moray House, outside which you should now be standing.  Glancing up to the balcony, he caught sight of the gloating Argyll and his wife.  Indeed, the Countess is reputed to have spat in Montrose’s face as the cart stopped in the street.  So before moving on to avoid any spectral spittle from the charming Countess, how many stone ‘brackets’ are there holding up the balcony?  This is co-ordinate H.


PS  Times change and it was Argyll’s turn to be executed in Edinburgh a few years later.  And their memorials are opposite each other in St. Giles Cathedral.


3.  David Riccio.  N055.57.106 W003.10.765


The marriage of Mary Queen of Scots and her second husband Lord Darnley was not a happy one.  As the couple grew apart, Mary inclined towards her young Italian secretary David Riccio as a confidante.  Darnley was mad with jealousy and on 9th March 1566 burst into Mary’s chambers in Holyrood Palace with his accomplices.  They murdered Riccio stabbing him 56 times in front of Mary’s eyes.  Riccio is believed to be buried in Canongate Kirkyard and you are looking for his final resting place.  The year of his birth will give you the next co-ordinate, 153J.


4.  William, Laird of Drumlanrig, Duke of Queensberry.  N055.57.127 W003.10.570


Perhaps those behind the new Scottish Parliament should have considered the history of Queensberry House before incorporating it into their plans.  Bad luck seems to be part of the brickwork.  During its construction in 1680, the original owner caused violent riots by not employing local masons to do the work.  When Lord Drumlanrig took up residence it was not through choice, as he was confined to live there due to his oppostion to the policies of James VII.  When William III acceded to the throne, Dumlanrig was finally free to take up residence in his country estate, but illness forced him to return to Edinburgh after only one night to be closer to medical care.  He never returned to his estate and died in 1695.  Five years later, his daughter Anne was killed in a fire in the house.  But 1707 marked the most notorious event in the building’s dubious history.  William’s son James and almost the entire household went to Parliament Square to mark the passing of the Act of Union with England, leaving only a kitchen boy to turn the celebratory roast on its spit, while James’ deranged son was locked in his room.  When everyone returned they were met with a terrible sight.  The mentally disturbed son had murdered the poor kitchen boy and his corpse was now being roasted on the spit.  Are you surprised the Parliament building has been beset with problems – it didn’t have a chance!  How many windows share the wall with the door facing you(K)?


5.  Bonnie Prince Charlie.  N055.57.169 W003.10.541

During the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, the White Horse Inn was commandeered by Charlie and his generals.  At one time this was the starting point for the stagecoach to London and this is why London Road is so-called.  Now it is a beautiful and quiet residential courtyard that is well worth a visit.  The Inn was built in 1623, but you are looking for the year it was restored – 196L. 


6.  Daniel Defoe.  N055.57.164 W003.10.453


What is the connection between the author of Robinson Crusoe and Holyrood Palace?  Well, at one time he stayed here, only not in the Palace.  There used to be an area in the grounds of the Palace where the destitute could gain sanctuary from their creditors, only being allowed out to attend church on a Sunday.  Defoe is believed to be one of those that had need of the respite on offer here.  A line of brass S’s in the cobbles marks the Sanctuary Line – how many are there (M)?


7.  The Cache. 


No names this time!  And I’m going to break the previous rule about going down the Royal Mile all the time!  Much as I’d like to hide a cache in Holyrood Palace, that’s not going to happen. So, I’ve chosen a location that is itself something of a hidden gem that some of the locals don’t even know about.  It can be found at N055.57.(G-3)(H-5)(J-2) W003.10.(K+3)(L+2)(M+3)  Enjoy! The final cache is not in Canongate Kirkyard, so no grave has to be desecrated when retrieving it!



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Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Svyz pnaavfgre va snxr ebpx ng obggbz bs jnyy gb yrsg bs fgbar orapurf.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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