NT2574 : Gabriel's Road

taken 4 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Gabriel's Road
Gabriel's Road
The street sign near the end of this narrow footpath north of West Register Street is a reminder of the loan which once ran from Mutrie's Hill, now overbuilt, to Stockbridge via Silvermills. The origin of the name is obscure. A 'Gabriel's Tavern' once existed in the nearby village of Broughton, but its name may have been taken from the loan.

This stretch was associated with an horrific double-child murder committed somewhere here in 1717. Because the area was then open ground, spectators on the Castle Hill (now the site of the Esplanade) chanced to witness the murder taking place. Since the location of the crime came under the jurisdiction of the Barony of Broughton, its laird exercised his right of 'pit and gallows' and hanged the perpetrator on 30th April 1717. It was said that his mind had been unhinged by his constantly brooding on predestination.

"The murderer in the case was in truth a man named Robert Irvine. He was tutor to two boys, sons of Mr Gordon of Ellon. In consequence of the children having reported some liberties they saw him take with their mother's maid, he conceived the horrible design of murdering them, and did so one day as he was leading them for a walk along the rough road where the New Town is now situated. The frightful transaction was beheld from the Castle-hill; he was pursued, taken, and next day but one hanged by the baron of Broughton, after having his hands hacked off by the knife with which he had committed the deed." -- Chambers, Traditions of Edinburgh, 1824

See also NT2474 : Glenogle Road
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NT2574, 1232 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 22 September, 2013   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 25 September, 2013
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  City, Town centre 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2577 7406 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:57.2285N 3:11.4212W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2577 7406
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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