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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Gilmerton Cove and Craigmillar Castle - 4/11/2007

Brian and I explored a couple of places off Edinburgh's beaten track. Gilmerton Cove is a series of chambers carved out of the sandstone bedrock in Gilmerton, just off the main crossroads. Unlike the typical old stuff in Edinburgh where the history is well known, Gilmerton Cove's history is a bit of a mystery. Originally thought to be carved out of the rock over the course of 5 years by a blacksmith named George Paterson, people now believe that the work is much older than the 18th Century, which is when he lived and worked there. The pick marks are still visible on all of the walls. Drainage leads into the cove from a smallish tunnel that some theorise leads to Craigmillar Castle. Theories for the Coves original purpose, aside from unique 18th Century smithy, include a drinking den perhaps for the Sabbath, a refuge/place of worship for persecuted Covenanters and a smugglers lair. After Gilmerton Cove, we wandered over to Craigmillar Castle to see if we could find the other end of the tunnel. We didn't, but we did have fun exploring the castle ruins.

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