NT2573 : Hooray...hooray...

taken 4 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Riders taking part in the Edinburgh Riding of the Marches. They came from all over Scotland, from as far as Shetland, but mostly from the Borders, Lothian and Lanarkshire.

* * * * *

The following entry in the Edinburgh Burgh Records for 15th April, 1718 gives a good account of a Riding, carried out to ensure that a town's territory was kept free of encroachments. In earlier times, burgesses residing within the town wall were forever being told to tear down fore-stairs, arcades, walls and other house improvements that incurred council disapproval, but from this early 18th-century account it seems that landowners who had escaped beyond the wall showed scant regard for seeking planning permission and were much bolder in chancing what they could get away with.

(present-day names given in brackets; some full stops added to the original unpunctuated text)

The Councill being to proceed to the rideing of their Marches conforme to their former appointment. They mounted on horseback at the foot of the West Bow being attended be the Captains etc. and went to the Society Port [Bristo Place]. From thence to the back of the Toun wall from thence to Lauristoun and doun the Lady Lawsons wynd to the west end of Wester Portsburgh [Main Point]. From thence to the Wrights houses [Leven Street]. From thence to Bruntsfeild house where it was observed that Sir George Warrander of Lochend had made ane considerable incroachment upon Bruntsfeild Links severall elns* and to fortifie the said incroachments he has planted trees, built ane new stone dyke and thrown up the ground the height of the said dyke and planted a hedge thereon And at Bruntsfeild house the old midding stead is inclosed with the forsaid dyke. From thence to Greenhill where it was observed that the Laird of Greenhill neither attended nor paid his feu required. From thence to Merchistoun where the Councill observed the Laird of Merchistoun neither attended nor paid his few required But that he had incroached upon the entry to Tipperlin and sett a row of trees thereon and inclosed a peice of ground with a dyke. From thence alongst Tipperlin loan untill the south end thereof where it was observed that Sir William Menzeis of Gladstons had incroached about six elns or thereby on the touns ground. From thence to Burrowmuir head where it was observed that the deceast Mr William Archibald had inclosed a peice of ground (belonging to the Good toun) with a stone dyke. From thence to Little Burrowmuirhead where it was observed that the said Sir William Menzies has incroached upon the towns avenue by building his park dyke severall foots without [beyond] the old march which is in length from the Over burrowmuirhead to the bridges. From thence to Egypt [Woodburn Terrace] where there is no march stones placed upon the verge of the water as was appointed by the former Report. From thence to Grange Loan where it was observed the Laird of Grange has built ane north gavell of a house cross the Loan and to fortifie the same has placed a march stone in the said gavel. And it was furder observed the said Laird has incroached upon the said Loaning by building two fore stairs to two houses As also by building a dyke to fence a peice of ground upon the north side of the said Loaning. And observed the proprietor of Claret hall had built his garden dyke upon the Towns avenue And to palliat his encroachment he had planted trees without the same close upon the edge of the causey [causeway]. From thence to Cants Loan. From thence to the Cameron [Cameron Toll] where it was observed that Sir James Dick had encroached upon the towns avenues by building the Cameron park dyke several foots upon the touns avenues both on the west and east parts thereof. From thence to Prestfield [Prestonfield]. From thence to the Gibbet [East Preston Street] where it was observed that the fore stair or entry to that house lately built by John Davie and now belonging to Alexander Montgomerie of Asloas was built on the towns avenue. From thence to Bedfoord hall and Crakling house where it was observed that the former encroachments as contained in the last report still continues at the places. From thence to Pleasants where it was observed that William Smellie late deacon of the masons had built ane tenement of houses without jedge and warrand [authorisation] from the Dean of Gild and was building ane Park dyke upon the Towns avenue and observed that severall fermers had laid doun middings [refuse heaps] betwixt the said Bedfoord hall and Pleasants which incommods the highway [= makes it inconvenient to use]. From thence to Cowgate Port up St Mary's Wynd and doun the Canongate to the Water Gate where it was observed that the houses formerly possessed be Thomas Kinloch wright continues as mentioned in the last report. From thence to Abbayhill where it was observed that the labouring of the ground on the west of the highway betwixt the Water gate and Abbayhill comes so near the said highway that it incommods the same And it was proper ane dyke should be built there. And the middings on Brookies boog upon the cast [surface] of the highway ought to be removed and discharged for the future. From thence to the Thorn Tree near Leith. From thence to the Black Rocks. From thence to Leith. From thence to Newhaven where the Councill caused fence a Court. From thence back to Leith. From thence to the Cannon milns. From thence to Dean and thence to the Water of Leith. And thence to Drumsheugh where it was observed that Michael Allan of Drumsheugh neither attended nor payed his few required. From thence to the West Kirk [St. Cuthbert’s]. From thence to the West Port where it was observed that Robert Stevenson farmer in Orchyard feild [Bread Street] had plowed up ane brae [slope] that was upon the west of the highway from the said West Kirk to the West Port and filled up ane well that was there. From thence through the Grassmercat doun the Cowgate up St Marys Wynd and in at the Netherbow port, up the high street and dismounted above the [Mercat] Cross."

*an eln was just over three feet
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NT2573, 5248 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 8 September, 2013   (more nearby)
Monday, 14 October, 2013
Geographical Context
City, Town centre  People, Events 
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2577 7361 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.9860N 3:11.4137W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2576 7362
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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