The History of Leith

August 3, 2012

A human skeleton, built into the wall upright

Its lofty and. stately vaulted hall (of Craigmillar Castle) measures
thirty-six feet long by twenty-two feet in breadth,
with a noble fireplace eleven feet wide, and on the
lower portions of it some remnants of old paintings
may be traced,and on the stone slab of one of
the windows a diagram for playing an old knightly
game called ” Troy.” There are below it several
gloomy dungeons, in one of which John Pinkerton,
Advocate, and Mr. Irvine, W.S., discovered in
1813 a human skeleton, built into the wall upright.
What dark secrets the old walls of this castle could
tell, had their stones tongues ‘ for an old, old
house it is, full of thrilling historical and warlike
memories. Besides the keep and the older towers,
there is within the walls a structure of more modern
appearance, built in the seventeenth century. This
is towards the west, where a line of six handsome
gableted dormer windows on each side of a projecting
chimney has almost entirely disappeared;
one bore the date MDC. Here a stair led to the
castle gardens, in which can be traced a large
pond in the form of a P, the initial letter of the
old proprietor’s name. Here, says Balfour, in
1509, “there were two scorpions found, one dead,
the other alive.”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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