NT2674 : Brunswick Road from Macdonald Road

taken 10 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Brunswick Road from Macdonald Road
Brunswick Road from Macdonald Road
An unexpected glimpse of the slopes of Arthur's Seat behind London Road Church in the distance. A few yards off to the left is Shrubhill, once the site of a gibbet known as the Gallow Lee, in use until the late 17th century. The bodies of malefactors (or just their limbs) were hanged here in chains on the road between Edinburgh and Leith as a deterrent to others. In 1664, nine women accused of witchcraft were strangled and burnt on the spot. In 1678, five similarly accused women met the same fate. Covenanters were also executed here during "The Killing Time" in the 1680s. Link For example, the body of David Hackston was hung in chains here after his execution at the Cross in Edinburgh in 1681. Link It was also the site, in 1697, of the last execution for blasphemy in Scotland. Link Local worthies complained in 1751 that "nothing but the neighbourhood of the gibbet hinders the locality from being distinguished by a frequency of country houses" and urged the Council to relocate it to the east end of Leith Links. The magistrates consented, but the Leithers quickly retaliated by protesting that the gibbet was on "the most publick high road in Scotland and where it has been fixt for a century". They won the argument and the decision was overturned by the Lords of Justiciary. The ground, now flattened, can be seen here Link

Before it was renamed in the early 19th century, Brunswick Road was called Lovers Loan. The road is very old and appears clearly on the Siege of Leith Map of 1560; although originally it did not bend round to the north, as it does today, but to the south to reach Abbeyhill. I remember, as a child, an elderly relative recalling how before the Great War she watched a German Band with a dancing bear performing on this corner of the road where the cream-coloured building stands. It was once a furniture and household goods shop with the larger items priced in guineas. Now it's a Tesco Express.
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NT2674, 1059 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 25 August, 2011   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 7 September, 2011
Geographical Context
Roads, Road transport 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2637 7489 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:57.6814N 3:10.8584W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2635 7490
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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