Talk:Edinburgh Castle

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Good articleEdinburgh Castle has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
January 20, 2009Peer reviewReviewed
June 23, 2011WikiProject A-class reviewNot approved
October 10, 2013Good article nomineeListed
Current status: Good article

Lead image[edit]

Current Image
Suggested Replacement

The lead of this article begins with: Edinburgh Castle is a fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock. However the lead image that is currently there does little to support these statements and has some technical issues. Despite this it is stilll quite a nice capture but shows only a small portion of the castle in isolation. Perhaps better suited to the body of the article. I had suggested a recent image I had taken as it was hi-res, technically sound and highlighted (literally and figuratively) that the castle dominates the city skyline. It was reverted upon inclusion in the article for not what i would consider good reason. To avoid any hint of an edit war, I am submitting the two images for community consideration.

What are the community's thoughts on this change? Saffron Blaze (talk) 23:46, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I like your photo, but most readers don't click on the lead image: of some 28,000 views last month ~1,500 clicked on the image, thereby seeing it at a larger size. So we need to assume that most readers will only see the 300px thumbnail. Looking at the current lead image again, the house on the left hand side is a bit distracting so it might be worth cropping the photo, but even at 300px the part of the castle shown is still pretty clear. While the image you've shown very effectively puts the castle in context I'm not sure it's suited to be a lead picture because it's not very clear at 300px. To be honest, it's going to be like that with any image showing the castle dominating the skyline. You can't show that and have the castle's main features distinct at 300px and if it were up to me I'd choose the latter. That said, it would be a shame not to use it in the article. Nev1 (talk) 23:55, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Good points. The current image does eliminate any desire to expand but I wonder if those stats would change if the lead images were swapped and people would then be encouraged to click through? However this may detract from the purpose of a lead image. I looked in the Commons for something stellar but unfortunately it does not yet exist, which suprises me somewhat. Saffron Blaze (talk) 01:09, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Alternatively, here's a plain view of the Castle in isolation (without clutter as on the present image, but no skyline in evidence. Could be shown minus caption, because 'skyline' ref. is in main text.). This view has the merit that it would be the way the Castle was normally seen before the draining of the Nor' Loch and laying of Princes Street. I realise it may not be bright enough for some. Kim Traynor 11:40, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Was thinking along the same lines with another suggestion. Similar perspective to the first but taken when more sunlight was on the city and with a tighter framing on the castle. Saffron Blaze (talk) 11:58, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Would you know from where this was taken? Saffron Blaze (talk) 14:11, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I would guess this has been taken from the roof of the hotel on the south side of the Grassmarket, or possibly from a window or the roof of the Central Library. Kim Traynor 16:55, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I feel that the current photo is the best option at the moment. If you really want one of the castle that 'dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh' I would suggest one from the West End/Castle Terrace area. NotMiserable (talk) 19:22, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Trouble is, a view from the West End or Castle Terrace would not be typical or iconic of the Castle, as it would not include the Half Moon Battery which gives the main impression of its robustness as a fortress. Also, it would not involve any skyline, only sky behind the Castle. Kim Traynor 19:48, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Had another think and you are right, perhaps something from Inverleith Park then? Something similar to this but perhaps a wider angle to show more of the skyline? NotMiserable (talk) 20:34, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
That's a really interesting pic, only it's from such an unusual angle that it doesn't really say "This is recognisably Edinburgh". Inverleith and Warriston are both places where the Castle can be seen on the skyline;perhaps also the traditional view from the Calton Hill. Kim Traynor 23:09, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I think all these images are equally good, its hard to pick a 'winner' for the lead. I personally think the current lead image is fantastic, as it does demonstrate how the Castle dominates the much smaller and lower Grassmarket buildings. Though I can see the point about them being distracting also. The "Alternative" shown is better in this regard, but somehow doesn't have the drama of the current image. I do think its very important to have an 'overview' image in the article. The "Suggested Replacement" picture is very good in this respect, and I think it deserves to be in the first part of the article, as it shows how the Castle Rock stands above its surroundings. I would support the previous replacement of the Princes St Gdns image with this one. There are currently two images from the gardens in this section (though one has a distracting pink tree in the foreground). The problem is that though the Princes St view is the most commonly seen, I dont think it tells you much about the castle because all you see is a jumbel of walls. A view from Calton Hill may be better for showing the Castle/New Town relationship. Another possibility for a lead image would be the view from the National Museum roof garden; I've tried to get a decent shot from there before but the light wasnt right. Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 11:34, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
  • It will be tough getting good light from that side of the Castle, especially this time of year, because you will have the sun in your face. A shot, potrait style, from a similar perspective as that Britanica shot linked above would be lovely mid-morning on a clear day. Saffron Blaze (talk) 13:46, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
The view from the National Museum roof garden looks west to the castle, so would be OK in the morning. In fact its a similar angle to your Salisbury Crags shot (you can see the museum roof in the lower left of the shot). Here is an example; here is another (not saying either is brilliant). The Britannica shot is definitely from the Apex hotel in the Grassmarket, so not sure how accessible that would be. Incidentally, we don't seem to have a really good shot of the main approach to the castle, looking across the Esplanade to the Half Moon &c. Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 15:06, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Here's a photograph that shows the approach to the Castle over the Esplanade. I wouldn't claim it's "a really good shot", but it has documentary value. Kim Traynor 18:49, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

That one's not bad actually, at least there are no buses parked in the foreground. Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 09:58, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

This is fast becoming a silly page. Here we are discussing the best image to lead into the subject, while meantime Nab82ba has posted a pic in the 2nd position, which is very good but almost a duplicate of the picture by Macographer that follows. Nab82ba's is as much a photo of the fountain as the castle; and I find the fountain distracts from the main subject. Its main virtue is that it is a closer view. I suggest someone replace the new posting with a more appropriate overview image and move Nab82ba's to the position currently occupied by the Mactographer image, which already appears on the Hills In Edinburgh page. I won't do the substitution myself as I have had a recent disagreement with Saffron Blaze about the nature of the photo that should appear here - see User talk:Saffron Blaze. As a relatively new kid on the block myself, I would defer to Jonathan's judgement, as he has had a longer experience with the page, and I think he should choose an image he deems appropriate from the WikiCommons archive. Kim Traynor 12:31, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

  • That's because Nab82ba has added several images to various "Scotland" related articles for the purposes of increasing traffic to a particular website. As an interim measure I have gone through all his images and removed the link and submited his photos for deletion as I suspect they are copyvio. I don't think there would be any issue with RV his/her contributions. Saffron Blaze (talk) 14:18, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Well spotted Saffron. It seems that commercial considerations are lurking behind the newly posted image. Some people have no shame. Kim Traynor 15:21, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

I think we are at the point that good discussion has gone on but no consensus has been achieved other than perhaps we would all prefer something better than anything offered so far. I am content to leave whatever is there now as the alternatives are not spectacular. Hopefully Kim gets a fine day and some free time:) Saffron Blaze (talk) 18:27, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Kim, you should move your new image to the lead! I'll leave it to you though. Well done. Saffron Blaze (talk) 20:25, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Sorry guys I didn't realise there was an ongoing discussion in regards to the lead image, I uploaded the current one (The one from Princes Street Gardens, I took it last year). I hope that people are ok with it. If not please feel free to drop me a wee line as I am open in regards to changing it. Again sorry to jump the gun by putting it up there! BrotherDarksoul (talk) 22:39, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

No need to apologise, editors are encouraged to be bold. I do think that while your photo has an interesting angle, one I don't think the others have offered, the colours are a bit washed out for me. Nev1 (talk) 21:47, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks dude! I was tempted to add it before but was being stingy with my castle love lol, I know what you mean though about the colours, not only that I felt that there was a lot of green going on too but it was nicely offset by the viewpoint itself (I hope). I also appreciate the other images too, I think the standard and the level of choice is fantastic. Thanks for your input, its much appreciated! BrotherDarksoul (talk) 22:51, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
p.s. on this discussion. At a later stage someone appended the above pic labelled Alternative to an article by none other than King Alex. See this link I never knew before that the castle was a symbol of Scottish independence, given that at various time in its history it has been garrisoned by the English (hence demolished by Bruce) or, after 1707, by the British Army, and hence a symbol of the Union. Kim Traynor 14:07, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Edward I's removal of the Scottish national records[edit]

I am suprised to read here that Edward I removed the Scottish national records from the castle when negotiating a successor to Alexander III. I don't know the source being cited, so I don't know on what evidence the claim is based. I do know that Edward met the Scottish nobles at Norham on the border. I was under the impression, though I can't recall where I read it, that the archive was removed after the dethronement of Balliol and Edward's occupation of Scotland. That strikes me as inherently more likely unless he had removed the records, e.g. land charters, beforehand so that his lawyers could examine the relative wealth of the Scottish nobles. If anyone has evidence in print that disagrees with the Salter reference and supports the other contention, I would suggest that the reference be changed. Kim Traynor 23:35, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Seems you are right, I checked in McIvor, Edinburgh Castle, and though he states that the paying of homage to Edward "probably took place in the castle", he also confimrs that the records, treasure &c were taken following the siege of 1296. I'll update accordingly. Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 15:08, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Thomas Randolph's exploit[edit]

While not wishing to detract from what probably constitutes the greatest single feat of bravery in the first War of Independence, I would question the ready acceptance of the story from Barbour's Brus that suggests Randolph and his men scaled the northern face of the Castle Rock. That is a probably a dramatic fiction to heighten the achievement, rather than historical fact. William Francis was a soldier who was said to know a way to sneak in and out of the castle to visit his girfriend in the burgh. Common sense suggests that he probably knew a pathway along the side of the rock that circumvented whatever gatehouse arrangement existed at the time. It's hard to imagine him descending and ascending the northern rockface, unless the girl's charms were exceptional. The idea that Randolph and his men would start at ground level (tactically a very dangerous position to put themselves in), climb the northern face of the rock and still have enough energy to scale the walls and defeat the garrison, places them in the league of supermen of a kind only encountered in legend and comics. The taking of the castle was certainly a remarkable accomplishment, but I think the page should be careful how it describes this incident. The word 'reputedly' springs to mind. Kim Traynor 23:54, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Barbour's Brus states that Wm Francis lived in the castle as a youth, and sneaked out via a cleft in the north face to visit a girl, which he subsequently led Moray to. This story is accepted by MacIvor, Edinburgh Castle, GWS Barrow, Robert Bruce, and Andrew McCulloch Scottish Saga: The Kingship in Eclipse (1286 - 1328), among those I was able to check. There is such a cleft in the north face, it leads up behind the ruin of the well-house tower (you can see it on the extreme right of this aerial image. Unlike the rest of the north face, it doesn't look that challenging (though I've not tried it myself!). More importantly, no matter how fanciful Barbour's account may be, there is no firm evidence to contradict him either. I think it would be quite wrong to change the story based on the supposition that it is embroidered, particularly given its wide acceptance. I suggest the article should retain the story as related by Barbour, but could be amended to make clear its origin also. Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 15:30, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm aware of the possible 'ladder' in the rock formation behind the well-house tower, but I can't see Francis climbing all the way down to the Nor' Loch, then climbing all the way back up the slope to reach his girl in the town (unless she lived at the bottom of a close bordering the loch!). Of course Barbour's story of Randolph's feat has been accepted down the generations without being questioned, because exaggerated history feeds the popular appetite. I wasn't suggesting changing the historical record in the absence of any evidence to the contrary. I was merely suggesting a cautionary note should be sounded when relating an heroic exploit that seems far-fetched, as does so much Scottish history. Kim Traynor 17:58, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Comment "unless the girl's charms were exceptional"

  • I was led to believe this was true for all Scottish girls. I guess history is written by the victors after all. Saffron Blaze (talk) 18:28, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


The lead sentence is not neutral, in so far that it says the castle "dominates" the Edinburgh city skyline. This is a matter of opinion, dependant on your thoughts on what constitutes "dominating", and also what constitutes Edinburgh city. Personally I can think of lots of places I consider Edinburgh where it's not even visible on the skyline, far less dominating. Saffron Blaze thinks that it dominates "By any objective measure", but I can't think of any objective measurement for "dominating", which is just the problem you get with POV descriptions such as this.

Certainly it is a prominent feature. But "dominates" is a matter of opinion that shouldn't appear in the lead of an article. --Escape Orbit (Talk) 16:23, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

I think there's a danger here of expecting language to be too precise. Every reader should be able to grasp what is meant by the term 'dominating'. Of course, there are parts of the modern city sprawl where the castle can't be seen (though it does pop up unexpectedly in the most surprising places). It must have dominated the city more in the past before the Victorian expansion of the built-up area outwards. I would say it still dominates the city centre, though one could temper that by saying, mainly from the north, less so from the south and west, and hardly at all from the east unless at a distance. But that kind of exactitude makes for a dull read. Kim Traynor 17:51, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

NPOV is not a requirement to make everything bland. Saying Edinburgh Castle is a feature of the skyline of Edinburgh is like saying the CN Tower is a feature of the Toronto skyline. While both statements are essentially true they are not very enlightening to the reader. If you look at the definitions of "dominate" and "feature" you could surmise that many structures are features of both those skylines but only a very few could be considered to dominate. It seems clear to me that Edinburgh Castle meets the definition of dominates quite well. UNESCO in their description of Edinburgh as a World Heritage Site explicitly states Edinburgh is "dominated by a medieval fortress". This is only one of many verifiable references that describe the castle as such and most make reference specifically to the skyline. I am not convinced sourcing is a requirement since the dominance of this feature is self-evident is so many of the images of the Edinburgh skyline. At a minimum "dominates" is a better descriptor than "feature" as it provides useful factual information. It came across to me as an assertion of fact which would generally be uncontested. Google the sentence "What dominates the skyline of Edinburgh?" for fun. I think you will see my point about uncontested. Saffron Blaze (talk) 18:23, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Well unsurprisingly if you google that sentence you get this page and its mirrors! How about it "dominates the centre of Edinburgh", or is a "principal feature" of the skyline? I think we could be more specific while allayiing Escape Orbit's concern? Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 10:03, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Sure you get a few mirrors but for 20+ pages on numerous sites it uses 'dominates'. I am all for compromise but it is unclear why dominates is not factually correct. It certainly looked that way to me when I was there the week prior. Saffron Blaze (talk) 14:26, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
A quick Google Books search shows that it is a certainly common way to describe it in the popular literature, and in some more specialist works. I'm not convinced that using the term is POV; one definition of dominate, after all, is "to overlook from a height", which seems pretty accurate here. Hchc2009 (talk) 17:36, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not "factually correct" because it's not a factual measure. If it stated the height, or size, of the castle then that would be indisputable fact. But using "dominates" is adding opinion to the mix. What if someone replaced it with "crowds the skyline" or "looms over Edinburgh"? They are both correct in so far that the castle is tall, prominent and high, but the manner in which it is is opinion.
Using Google hit counts is original research, and it doesn't really matter how many references can be found offering descriptions of the castle. Wikipedia still has an obligation to be neutral, particularly in the lead. If we found 20+ pages that described the castle as "awesome" does that mean the article lead can describe it "awesome" too? --Escape Orbit (Talk) 17:55, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
What part of fun did you not understand? I am not using google hits to conduct "original research". I was just showing that I wasn't the only one using this term to describe the castle. Regardless, if we look at other wiki articles where features dominate skylines we see then described as:
  • CN Tower ...signature icon of Toronto's skyline.
  • Mount Cargill ...dominate the skyline of Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • Château Frontenac the most prominent feature of the Quebec City skyline as seen from across the St. Lawrence.
  • Atlantic City Casino hotels dominate the skyline...
  • Calgary Tower ...It dominated the Calgary skyline.
Any modifier that we add to the statement that Edinburgh Castle is on the skyline is subject to being called an opinion. Is it a feature? Some might argue it is not. Is it prominent? Others might argue this as well. At what point does it become factual? My argument is that feature, prominent and dominate are all factual statements with respect to this castle and its relation to the skyline.

Saffron Blaze (talk) 19:17, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Calm down. Do you think you can Google something "for fun" and then use it to demonstrate your point as well? In that case, I suggest it was OR, for fun. You don't get to reply to that, because it was for fun.
Obvious all words carry a certain baggage. We can only attempt to be as neutral as possible. And just because other article sometimes fail to do this does not mean this article should to. "Dominate" has overtones of the castle surpassing all other features. Being the one and only. "Feature" and "prominent" do not have these overtones. Therefore they are more neutral. That's all. --Escape Orbit (Talk) 22:28, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Overtones? Aren't we at risk of trying to define the term "dominates" while a perfectly good definition already exists. The castle meets that definition. Moreover NPOV specifically directs that we are to avoid presenting uncontested assertions as mere opinion. At this point all we have is an opinion that perhaps it doesn't dominate the skyline despite all the photographic and verifiable sourced evidence to the contary. Moreover I am now getting lost in what is actually being contested. Is it that it doesn't dominate enough that it should be phrased as such? Would you actualy be against saying the CN Tower dominates the Toronto skyline as well? My concern here is that in an effort to be NPOV we may actually remove some valuable information in the process. Not every feature of a skyline should be said to dominate, even prominent ones, but when it does dominate we should be confident enough to say it. Saffron Blaze (talk) 00:59, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I feel it is a prominent feature of the Edinburgh skyline but am often asked by tourists where the castle is...If UNESCO feel that it dominates the Edinburgh skyline then let it be so as they have much expertise in this area, unless you have a better way to put it? Sure from certain places in Edinburgh you can't see the castle but this is true in every city which has something that 'dominates' their skyline.NotMiserable (talk) 22:40, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Couldn't we settle for the first sentence being: "Edinburgh Castle is a fortress which dominates the centre of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock." I can't see much wrong with that as plain English. It's in the centre and if you also happen to be there it certainly seems to be a dominating presence. Kim Traynor 22:54, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

"Edinburgh Castle is a medieval fortress whose position atop the volcanic Castle Rock continues to give it a dominant presence on the skyline of Edinburgh City." Is medieval still correct despite what UNESCO said? Saffron Blaze (talk) 14:38, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Not that there's much mediaeval to it now, apart from its basic ground plan, St. Margaret's Chapel and the remains of David's Tower and the Well-house Tower. Kim Traynor 14:59, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I've been taking a straw poll amongst Edinburgh residents and all agree that to say the Castle dominates is a matter-of-fact statement. As one man put it to me (a stranger pointing out the Castle to his child), "Well, it was built to dominate, wasn't it?" I don't think one can really argue with that! Kim Traynor 12:33, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I think that settles the matter. NPOV is a useful guideline but in certain instances using emotive words add value and as you note a statement of fact. Saffron Blaze (talk) 13:15, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Hchc2009 - his or her recent removal of additions on the subject of volcanoes etc. etc. (18 April 2012)[edit]

The attempt made by myelf was I can assure you Sir to connect both the history of the town and that of a specific element within it (the 'Castle Hill' and as by myself suggested resulting architecture of many sorts) with the creation of the 'United Kingdom' together with that of Soviet Union and the related history over a period of years including of course what were to be called 'world wars'.

The essential feature was therefore an attempt to at least indicate what for my own part I believe can be shown to be specific architectural intentions relating to the extraordinary feature which still exists throughout the world and known as having existed over an indefinite period of centuries, namely the volcanoes and their strange relationship with what is below and what is above, and therefore in this apparently purely geographical sense with human religion and 'renaissance'.

Unfortunately of course this has never been officially recognized for whatever reason at least so far as I am aware, but if you pay attention you should I suggest find it confirmed within the Shrine of the Scottish National War Memorial and elsewhere within that Memorial.

I do not know what the answer is, it is possible that attempting to indicate at least in outline this sort of feature within this article was indeed not the answer, as you say in connection with the removal of the text.

Whoever reads this Talk Page (and no doubt there will not be a great many in comparison with those who read the article!) should perhaps however be aware that this attempt was made and incidentally perhaps also bear in mind that both the Scottish National War Memorial and the war memorial in Newcastle to which reference was made were opened in the 1920s by the Prince of Wales, with the entire Monarchy involved in the opening of the Scottish National War Memorial on the anniversary of Victory Day in France 14 July in 1919, this date being also incidentally directly connected with both the French revolution and the 1870 Franco-Prussian war and therefore hardly a coincidence.

Thanks again for saving everybody the trouble of getting involved in such extremely complicated issues. It seems I am the only one, and why should I bother if nobody else wants to do so, I wonder? War and peace, including in this particular case the creation of the 'United Kingdom', remain I think, so far as I am concerned, the mystery. Unfortunately the government does nothing whatsoever to resolve it. Likewise, in the otherwise outstanding article on peace there is no reference to Edinburgh for the time being (2012), but if Scotland ever returns to independance the future in general must remain uncertain (it will perhaps remain forever a mystery). Peter Judge — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Peter, could you elaborate on what it is you were contributing? I can see you are upset by the removal, but I don't yet have a sufficient understanding of what it is you were trying to convey to make an assessment. In particular do you have sources or reference material to support what you added? Saffron Blaze (talk) 20:43, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Disregard, I went thought the history to see what was added. While I won't object to the material per se, the writing was entirely too disjointed to meet encylopedic standards. Saffron Blaze (talk) 21:04, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Well thanks a lot for your courteous attention to this 'disjointed' matter and indeed what ever is exactly 'encyclopedic' is the enormous problem (take for instance the fact that you will be able to confirm on the now largely ignored form of the OS map at the scale of 1:2500 that the width from the further side of the entrance to the Scottish National War Memorial to the outside wall from east to west or from west to east is at least as estimated by myself at exactly one third of an inch in the Imperial measurement system and I suggest that the same sort of length (three times that length) applies from the statue of King George V in Old Palace Yard outside Westminster Abbey to the entrance in line with the statue in the House of Lords in London). I am not sure if any of this means anything, what I do think I know is that the Government not only disregards and ignores it, and this possibly for the same reason as given by yourself in relation to the material provided within this article, namely the absence of 'references material' whatever that is exactly supposed to mean, but it further misrepresents certain material which they are required to acknowledge and keep correct under the 1911 Perjury Act, and if you want information to confirm that, even if it does not relate directly to your own article, you can have it here without any problem. I repeat my personal and perhaps incorrect view that if the Scots become independent once again they are likely in one way or another entirely to differ. Meantime, is it worth the trouble? I do not know what the answer is going to be, if any. Facts are facts however with or without 'encyclopedic references' perhaps, whatever that is supposed to mean. Peter Judge — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
Peter, as Saffron Blaze says, it is very difficult to understand what you are trying to say, and how it helps the general reader to get an understanding of Edinburgh Castle, which is the purpose of the article. I gather you are drawing a cultural connection between volcanoes and architecture, which may well be relevant to discussion of Edinburgh Castle. But I'm not sure how this relates to "the creation of the 'United Kingdom' together with that of Soviet Union", or what the relevance is of the distance "from the statue of King George V in Old Palace Yard outside Westminster Abbey to the entrance in line with the statue in the House of Lords". Nor indeed why you wish to draw attention to a war memorial in Newcastle under the section on the geology of the Castle Rock. The meaning of "encyclopedic references", at least as far as Wikipedia is concerned, is set out in the guidelines on citing sources and reliable sources. Wikipedia is not a place to publish your own original research or speculations. Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 09:41, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Well I acknowledge again this is for myself at least something of a long and complicated issue in connection with which I am as you suggest not particularly qualified. The fact remains that by pure chance I became now in my old age involved in it many years ago when I moved from the south to Hartlepool in the north east of England (I do not go into the details other than to point out that on the memorial correctly named 'Tiumphant Youth' on the sea shore site of the 1914 East Coast Raid, opened in 1921 under that name and now incorrectly entitled at an official level 'Winged Victory', amongst other significant features there are on the uppermost pedestal of the memorial exactly the same forms of historic flags, that is the English one with a Greek cross and the Scottish one with a Saltire cross, that are to be found evidently relating to the unification of England and Scotland and at the highest level within the 1927 Scottish National War Memorial, but admittedly in Hartlepool with a documentary reference to local significance and none to Scotland). So far as the extremely unusual 1923 Newcastle war memorial (which relates to the living and not to the dead and carries the same date, 1914, so far as that of the East Coast Raid and the year cited on the 1921 Hartlepool memorial which relates to this unique over many centuries Raid are concerned) it will be found that this contains (pointing to the north in the same direction as the military personnel) a winged figure of which two exactly the same are placed above the statue of an Archangel in the Shrine of the Scottish National War Memorial, where an almost identical frieze of Scottish military as that in Newcastle but shown within Europe in the course of war instead of when leaving home as in Newcastle and shown relating directly to death and to resurrection is to be found. I must admit that I have not perhaps remembered correctly the dimensions as calculated by myself on the OS map at 1:2500 as these have been quoted by myself but the main point is that they are all of the dimension 69.44 within whichever Imperial measurement applies (feet or yards) and thus relate to the metric measurement 63.5m (this equalling 69.44 yards which length at 1:2500 will be found to measure exactly one inch). In conclusion I wish to repeat that ultimately all of this can arguably be shown to relate to the connection between east and west and between the United Kingdom and France and in particular the November 1917 Communist revolution in St Petersburg and relating war memorials (I believe that in any event it would not make a lot of sense to suppose that a war memorial in the form as contained on the Castle Hill was ever supposed to be considered isolated given in particular its connection with both the 1919 28 June Inter-Allied Treaty of Versailles and the 14 July Victory Parade in Paris in the same year, and its arguable form of architectural connection with the Imperial War Graves Commission headstones as taken together with the cross, the first, in the original governmental documents, having been quoted in metric and the second in Imperial measurement, as can be confirmed in the relevant documentary evidence still available and in at least one book, the comprehensive and illustrated book entitled Cemeteries of the Great War by Sir Edwin Lutyens, published recently, not in our own country, where these historical issues seem believe it or not to be specifically ignored, but published abroad in 2010 by the 010 Publishers, and, while in English, in the town of Rotterdam and with financial support from the Netherlands Architecture Fund!) History is now indeed, like the world wars, complicated with or without encyclopedias given what I suggest again happens to be a longlasting failure by our own government, of whichever party, and arguably in my own opinion at least including the Administrative Court, to comply with the simple requirements of the 1911 Perjury Act. Thank you again Wikipedia in any event for giving some form of possibility to at least make this rather embarrassing suggestion, we shall see what happens. Peter Judge PS The rather remarkable perhaps character on an historical basis of the relationship between Scotland and England may perhaps be confirmed by the likewise Church-related Banockburn Memorial in Ceres, Scotland, erected in what must be held to have been a remarkable coincidence in 1914 six hundred years after the 1314 Bannockburn battle that is commemorated, the First World War memorials within England as here mentioned being, at least as here suggested, related both to the memorial in Edinburgh Castle and to the date of creation of this other memorial ... I wonder if there can there be any sort of explanation for all these 'coincidences' in relation to this long-running relationship within the 'United Kingdom', there being it seems specific references to the different forms of crosses, Greek and Saltire, in both England (Hartlepool) in relation to the 1914 East Coast Raid, leading in December of that year to the first death of British military within the UK as from its 18th Cent. creation, and in the Scottish National War Memorial which is even more evident and which is here in question. PPS The Internet is at least to myself the most amazing phenomenon which I shall never understand and I had no idea whatsoever until a few days ago that the extraordinarily connected photograph matter on the unveiling of the Newcastle memorialcould possibly exist (it seems probably dated upon the opening of this memorial in 1923 when it will have been extremely unusual and therefore created in accordance with the directions of and financed by the Prince of Wales who four years later in 1927 together with the monarchy opened this Scottish National War Memorial here in question). This extraordinary item could of course be simply a recently created invention but if so when and by whom and this seems in itself something equally incredible. I shall try to find out more for myself but I understand that I have already said more than enough here. Thanks again my friends for your attention (for other suggested editorship on what is in effect this same subject matter see No. 3.3 in this article on a 'Military Tattoo' taking place annually on the Esplanade, so far as very relevant to the memorial it may seem to be completely by myself, but I have to admit that the truly significant information concerning the 'military' tattoo in question if not of that tattoo as replacing a 'peace' parade was by another person within the original form of the section, as may of course be confirmed, if without any of that now added by myself, namely that this is indeed history possibly relating to war memorials throughout the world and in any event with a certain vengeance if never officially stated so far as I am myself aware but could it ever have been intended to be otherwise?). PJ
I am not sure why this was re-added: I see no consensus for it here. Also, I cannot understand what is being said above and I have tried many times to read it. Sorry, but it makes absolutely no sense to me.--SabreBD (talk) 00:28, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
The essence of the matter is I believe simple (and therefore easy to understand) namely the intended connections between architecture throughout Europe relating to the world wars. I had hoped to make that sufficiently clear but perhaps I did not (I think if it is ever made clear that this sort of alleged political and legal failure within the UK in relation to misunderstanding is the one which is in question, and we can perhaps also bear in mind that history is of many centuries). I repeat that rightly or wrongly I believe the issues are death and resurrection as confirmed within this extraordinary Scottish National War Memorial shrine, the frieze of which begins 'The righteous are in the hand of God' and ends 'they are in peace'. Au revoir to those who did as I hope to some extent understand what I was trying to say within the article itself (now in a second form and for the second time removed by those who unfortunately do not choose to discuss the matters in question before they do this). I repeat what I myself believe is perfectly clear: the issue remains, and it would be a good thing if some indication of this could be made within the article. Can anyone really believe that the 'Peace Parade' in Edinburgh connected with the war memorial after the First World War as from 1927 was replaced by a 'Military Tattoo' the only one referred to here after the Second without any sort of intended significance in relation to the Edinburgh war memorial clearly originally intended to be of an international significance in regard to peace and having connections with the history of Communism and the creation of the Soviet Union, and in particular the UK national 1919 'Peace Day' to which reference has been made? It seems to myself that anyone who believes that probably does not want to understand the significance of architecture and memorials in relation to the still present connections between east and west and two world wars. Whether anyone can understand what I myself say is I believe an entirely separate issue (I need hardly perhaps add that I find these sorts of actions and comments somewhat disappointing, but I continue to believe that these issues must eventually be sorted out, if not within Wikipedia, where I now however will give one more try if there is not what might be held to be a reasonable response to this clarification of the intended purpose which I now add, and within a reasonable period, say five days, and preferably perhaps by this same person, SabreBD, but of course in Wikipedia anyone can contribute even persons like myself who give their legally valid names, for what those may be worth). Peter Judge — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:04, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Well I think I understood a bit more of that, but the problem is that this is not very significant in the context of this article, which is a general overview of the castle, and by including it we would be giving undue weight to the issue. It also seems to be original research and that is not allowed on Wikipedia. You need to have consensus to add this and that is usually carried out through this talkpage. You do not seem to have that consensus and until you do, please do not restore the information.--SabreBD (talk) 08:28, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Now thank you very much indeed SabreBD for your further very prompt response, for now I understand yourself as well as you say you understand me since you make a little more clear to myself the reasons for your removal from this particular Wikipedia article (I leave it to others to agree with you or not). You do not in any event say whether you agree that it is the case that the complications indicated, I believe clearly at an international level and involving European history and in particular two world wars, unfortunately remain but this Talk Page is clearly not the place for anyone to discuss them. Anyone who may wish to discuss this can contact me on my personal e-mail ( at least for the time being and until I decide to arrange for a Wikipedia Talk Page for myself and assuming that the message sent seems intended to be reasonable I shall try to make clear what I myself believe must be done in this matter at a European level soon and with regard to European history (in paticular of course the 'British Empire') over a long period and this before the centenary of the two world wars, if possible, but it is a complicated issue involving law and politics, and I have no idea whether it is likely ever to be sorted out by myself alone who has been trying within the UK entirely at my own expense both locally and nationally without any success whatsoever for more years than I can remember. I hope for the best, but will it happen? Thanks. Peter Judge — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:58, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Lead image.[edit]

The lead image is a complete technical failure. The image is worse than bad. It lacks clear detail, has areas that are completely blown and colours that are better left inside a kaleidoscope. How has it survived in place so long? Regardless, find something better such as Kim's image that follows.

As an aside. It would be useful if all the hard pixel sizes were removed to be in accordance with WP:MOS for images. Saffron Blaze (talk) 19:10, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

I apologise that my image causes you such great offence. But from your argument its unclear as to what exactly it is you do not like about the image, infact is sounds more like a personal issue than that of importance to the page. It has remained so long because it is a fair and good representation of how the castle looks in comparison to the other images on choice. Yes there are isues with this image but then there are issues with the other images too, hence the original section being made on this issue. Perhaps one should remember that before jumping in with an attitude that is completely uncalled for. BrotherDarksoul (talk) 02:27, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Back in April I said that I think the colours are too washed out. The unnatural colours distract from the subject, as do the trees. I would support restoring the lead image used before. Nev1 (talk) 01:39, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Fine by me, done and done, cannot be bothered with a war! You can have an image that shows the minimal amount (added with an awkward and unintersting angle) of Edinburghs most important and well known landmark. BrotherDarksoul (talk) 02:46, 13 May 2012
Unfortunately we haven't yet found the ideal photo. I don't think yours was a complete failure, but I also don't think it was one of the best available. I think a photo from that position, but above the trees so they're not getting in the way, could produce something very good. The meta data for your image suggests you used a camera phone, so a better quality camera would help. Nev1 (talk) 02:00, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Lead image again[edit]

OK, lets sort this out:

My first choice would be Option 2 for the lead, with 1 or 3 used in the section on the rock. Any advance? Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 13:05, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Option 2 would be my first choice, with option 3 my second. Nev1 (talk) 13:25, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Nev, and done. Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 13:13, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Another option. A tighter crop on the castle:Geni (talk) 00:18, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Edinburgh Castle from the National Museum of Scotland 2013.JPG

Article quality[edit]

What a great article! I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks to those who wrote it. --John (talk) 05:39, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Current Owners?[edit]

There seems to be some recent disagreement over who 'owns' Edinburgh Castle.

As far as I am aware there are three major stakeholders, the MOD who have a number of servicemen/woman stationed there, Historic Scotland who run and look after the tourist side of the castle, and 'Scottish Ministers' who have an unknown input. This webpage was cited but leads no where.

Can someone clarify the situation? NotMiserable (talk) 12:20, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Scrap that...seems Edinburgh Castle is owned by the Scottish Government and is run by Historic Scotland. See here
I'll make a change to the main article to reflect this. NotMiserable (talk) 12:26, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
The Castle is the property of the Crown. It is certainly not owned by the Scottish Government. Historic Scotland looks after Crown properties, along with other heritage sites, in Scotland. That's why Alex Salmond's request to replace the Union Flag with a Saltire on a 90 foot high flagpole was a non-starter. It will be the Secretary of State for Scotland who, in consulation with the Crown Estate Commissioners, makes any major decisions regarding management of the Castle. I've amended the article text accordingly. Kim Traynor (talk) 11:33, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
The Castle is not owned by the Crown. It was transferred to the SoS for Scotland in 1999, and subsequently on to Scottish Ministers. This is detailed in the 2006 report of the Crown Estate Review Working Group. The current reference, stating the Castle is owned by Scottish Ministers, is correct. I'll change the text to reflect this. Dalliance (talk) 12:49, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Interestingly, in keeping with its status as Crown property the ordnance at the Castle, including Mons Meg, is on permanent loan from the Royal Armouries in the Tower of London, since Scotland was officially disarmed after Culloden. Kim Traynor (talk) 11:59, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
I have now reverted the reversion of my edit as per the information I provided above. For Dalliance to assert that Edinburgh Castle is the property of the ministers of the Scottish Government is quite frankly bonkers. (If it was, they'd cash in on the fact and sell it to a developer!) Kim Traynor (talk) 20:53, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
I have only now spotted Dalliance's comment above, which I failed to notice before because it had been posted above the last comment in the sequence. If the legal position now is that the Castle is no longer Crown property (which surprises me greatly - I wonder if the Queen has been told), then my latest edit is inaccurate. However, a more accurate formulation is needed in the article, because there is no possible way that the Castle can belong to Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney, Mike Russell, Kenny McAskill and company. I can understand that they may now have been made responsible for its management, but don't tell me they own it. And if they do, why haven't they raised the saltire on the flagpole as they said they would? Kim Traynor (talk) 21:04, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
This is quickly turning into a bit of an edit war, which is what I was trying to avoid by setting up this talk section. If you read both mine, Dalliance's and the article's cited documents it shows that, since 1999, Edinburgh Castle has been under the control of the Scottish Government. Unless you can actually cite anything I will revert it back to Scottish Government. Can we keep politics out of this? Clearly you have issues with SNPs but the Scottish Government as a whole (all parties and civil servants etc) own Edinburgh Castle. Please also note that Edinburgh Castle is not a royal residence, Holyrood Palace serves this purpose. NotMiserable (talk) 21:08, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Read this regarding flags over the castle. The castle is a flying station of the Army so the Union flag takes priority. NotMiserable (talk) 21:17, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Please don't delete my contributions to this page which I am entitled to make. I have no issue with the SNP. You're interpreting. I'm trying to establish the facts. I am sure the Scottish Government does not own Edinburgh Castle regardless of what the researcher on the linked webpage seems to state. If control has in some way been passed to the Scottish Government on behalf of the Crown, the article should state that as the position. Kim Traynor (talk) 21:15, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
I did not delete your post on purpose, I was having some issues with edit conflicts. If you don't have issues with SNP then why not mention Labour/Lib Dem/Conservative/Green/Indy MSPs? So far three links suggest that the Scottish Government owns Edinburgh Castle so unless you can find evidence to the contrary it stands. One Two Three NotMiserable (talk) 21:37, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
The answer to your question is "because we are discussing Scottish ministers, not MSPs". I have written to Francesca Osowska asking for clarification of the position regarding the Castle's ownership, in particular what safeguard exists to prevent it being sold as private property. Her answer should prove interesting. Kim Traynor (talk) 21:44, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
[This added as post-comment: No reply to that inquiry ever received] Kim Traynor 14:17, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
After a close reading of Two, I have to say that I find the position quite unclear. The document states that the Castle is no longer Crown property and has been passed to the devolved government in Scotland, but what is one to make of the following statements? "The 1999 transfer did not, however, involve the ownership of these buildings being conveyed “to Scotland”. (...) The matter being settled was the management of the properties." and "This reflects that the issue was not the ownership of the properties. (...) The transfer was from property held by the Crown in Scotland to property held by the devolved government in Scotland. The significance was thus more about management than ownership." If it was indeed "more about management than ownership", the question of ownership remains unclear. I think a legal and potentially political issue is being dodged or fudged here. Kim Traynor (talk) 22:37, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Very silly. Of course the Castle is owned by the Crown, which is why it is administered by three of HM's appendages, i.e. the MOD, HS and the Scots government. Pretty simple. Brendandh (talk) 22:47, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree this is all very silly, but it's hardly the fault of anyone on this page, given that the official record is so unclear. I believe the Castle still legally belongs to the Crown and that the document from which I quote is actually saying that it no longer belongs to the list of properties managed by the Crown Estate Commissioners (hence, it no longer counts technically as a Crown property). Instead, it has been transferred to the list of properties for whose management the Scottish Government is responsible, presumably on behalf of the Crown. Kim Traynor (talk) 22:58, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Part of the problem is that there are several different entities involved here. You have:
  • The Crown as part of the UK government (e.g. the Crown appoints ministers).
  • The Sovereign's private estate - the personal property of the Sovereign (things that the Queen owns as an individual).
  • The Crown Estate in England and Wales. This is managed through the Crown Estate, "a statutory corporation under the Crown Estate Act 1961. It is a body established in perpetuity under the Act as a trust estate. Independent of government and the monarch, The Crown Estate's public function is to: Invest in and manage certain property assets belonging to the monarch; and remit its revenue surplus each year to the Exchequer."[1] It isn't part of the UK government, nor is this the Sovereign's private estate. They are part of the hereditary possessions of the Sovereign "in right of the Crown".[2]
  • The Crown Estate in Scotland. This comprises the ancient rights of the Crown in Scotland, which has a different legal origin than those in England and Wales. Although it has different origins, it is managed by the Crown Estate Commissioners through the Crown Estate as well. [3]
  • Historic Scotland - an executive agency of the Scottish Government; they act on behalf of the Scottish ministers. As such, they are a "Crown body", whose intellectual property is subject to Crown Copyright, etc.[4]
  • The Scottish Government - comprising the Scottish ministers, as part of the devolved assembly, working on behalf of the Crown etc.
As per previous discussion, the Crown Estate in Scotland used to have lots of rights in Edinburgh Castle; this was cleared up, being a bit of a quirk, and these were transferred to Historic Scotland. It is probably still reasonable to say it is "owned by the Crown" (just as Caernarfon Castle, controlled by Cadw, is). It is managed differently, but the underlying ownership remains the same. Hchc2009 (talk) 06:17, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Hchc2009 for sharing your valuable knowledge on this point. James VI must be turning in his grave! Kim Traynor (talk) 11:04, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

I have no axe to grind on this particular issue, but the assertions made here about the Crown owning the Castle are not backed with references. However, ownership by Scottish Ministers is. I'm not going to change the text again at this point, but I would ask that references supporting Crown ownership are provided. When these are, we can hopefully reach a fully informed consensus. Whether that be for the Crown, Scottish Ministers, or a form of words reflecting uncertainty over ownership, is fine by me. Thanks. Dalliance (talk) 12:01, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

My email to the address provided in Doc 2 has been returned "failed delivery", so contacting Historic Scotland for clarification would appear to be the next logical move. I'm not sure it's possible to find what you're after in print. I think we're in the typically British realm of unwritten conventions here. I think a formulation such as "managed by the Scottish Government and Historic Scotland on behalf of the Crown" would probably be accurate, or not inaccurate. Whoever is legally responsible is just acting as a custodian of the property. Kim Traynor (talk) 12:20, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
If you check the Crown Estates Website and their interactive map here Edinburgh Castle does not appear. I doubt this comes under an 'unwritten convention', especially if you calculate the yearly income from ticket sales... NotMiserable (talk) 14:48, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
As per my message the above, the Crown Estates website won't show it, as as it was moved from the Crown Estate corporation to the Crown body of Historic Scotland a couple of years ago. The ref's above in my previous message may help. Hchc2009 (talk) 17:26, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
NB: My preference would be to keep the text as is (referring to the Scottish Government) but add a footnote, explaining the situation for readers unfamiliar with HM's devolved government structures, noting that the Scottish Government is part of the Crown etc. Hchc2009 (talk) 17:40, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

As per Dalliance, the only clearly-stated references found so far say that "Scottish Ministers own Edinburgh Castle",[1] and "the Scottish Government who own Edinburgh Castle".[2] The issue has been discussed by MSPs, see the links here. There is no dispute that the Scottish Ministers/Scottish Government (essentially the same thing) own the castle. It isn't "managed by the Scottish Government", it is managed by Historic Scotland. As Hchc says, the Scottish Government represents the Crown, but there are no references stating that "Edinburgh Castle is owned by the Crown". The Crown Estate owns part of Princes Street Gardens, but not the castle, so it is not correct to describe the castle as "Crown land" or similar. The article should state that the castle is owned by the Scottish Government, unless references are provided to show otherwise. I agree this is all highly academic, but WP needs to be verifiable, not based on editors' speculations. Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 13:07, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

The Edinburgh Castle article refers to: "property of the Crown"; "Current owner - Scottish Government"; "in the ownership of Scottish Ministers". The last of these is clearly correct. (talk) 13:44, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
The Crown Estate Working Group (CERWG) consists of the six local authorities covering the Highlands and Islands, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. As such, the CERWG report would seem to be authoritative. It has investigated the affairs of the CEC in Scotland and the report refers to information from the CEC.
At several points in the report, the position is set out unambiguously. For example:
"Mineral rights and other rights reserved by the Crown of former Crown lands including Edinburgh Castle....." Note "former Crown lands"
"In 1998/9, the CEC conveyed individually on behalf of the Crown to the Secretary of State for Scotland, the ownership of Edinburgh Castle...... The ownership of all these properties was then, as a result of devolution, transferred from the Secretary of State to Scottish Ministers."
"The other outcome of the 'devolution settlement' between the CEC and the Scottish Office was agreement that the CEC would convey the ownership of Edinburgh Castle...... from the Crown to the Secretary of State for Scotland for transfer to Scottish Ministers. The transfer of 26 properties took place in 1999."
"During 1999, the Crown's ownership of Edinburgh Castle ..... was conveyed by the CEC on behalf of the Crown to the Secretary of State for Scotland for transfer to Scottish Ministers."
"The CERWG learnt during the course of its investigations that the CEC had conveyed the ownership of Edinburgh Castle ..... to the Secretary of State for Scotland at the time of devolution. These properties were conveyed by the CEC on behalf of the Crown to the Secretary of State one by one during 1999. The ownership of the properties then passed from the Secretary of State to Scottish Ministers as a result of devolution and the terms of the Scotland Act 1998/9.
"The transfer of Edinburgh Castle is registered as title number MID 1 in the Land Register for Midlothian."
"Table 5 - List of 26 Historic Properties in Scotland conveyed by the CEC on behalf of the Crown to the Secretary of State for Scotland in 1998/9."
Consistently, it is ownership that is conveyed from the Crown ultimately to Scottish Ministers. The term "convey" in itself connotes transfer of ownership. It is ownership that is registered as title MID 1 in the Land Register for Midlothian and that registered title guarantees the ownership. There is absolutely no justification for considering that these legal transactions are merely "management" but it should be realised that ownership of property is a normal and proper way to provide for management. (talk) 14:03, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Esplanade is Canadian territory[edit]

The Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, in Scotland, legally is part of Nova Scotia in Canada. Charles I declared it to be Nova Scotia territory so that Nova Scotian baronets might receive their lands there. The decree has never been revoked. Source: Facts About Scotland and — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

This is in fact nonsense: no part of the castle was ever decreed to be part of Nova Scotia. What actually happened is clearly set out in the article, see the third paragraph under the heading "Nova Scotia and Civil War". Neither of the works referred to above rate as reliable sources. Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 12:37, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Fully agree with preceding assertion. The fiction that a part of the Esplanade is Nova Scotian soil is an entertaining myth perpetuated by tourist guides. Kim Traynor (talk) 01:40, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Improving this article[edit]

Strikes me it would be quite easy to take this to Good Article status. Any interest among regular editors? --MarchOrDie (talk) 20:46, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes. Actually I was recently thinking of another attempt at A class review - the article failed its [review last year], but most of the points raised then have been dealt with. The article would need a thorough copyedit and review of refs, but yes I think its not far from either GA or A class. Would be happy to input into an improvement drive. Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 11:57, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Now finally nominated for GA. Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 13:35, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Edinburgh Castle/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Ritchie333 (talk · contribs) 13:44, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

I will review.

Fastest response ever! Thanks, Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 14:52, 7 October 2013 (UTC)


  • No dablinks
  • Stable. Only reverts are obvious vandalism or good faith degredation. The main editors (you and Kim Traynor) seem to be in general agreement as to how to proceed.
  • Have all the actions from the earlier A class review been addressed?

External links / references[edit]


  • Fixed (there was a stray pipe). Nev1 (talk) 14:14, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Not sure about how this works. The arms are those of the City of Edinburgh Council, which in its current form dates only from 1995. However, I noticed that the arms shown are different to what the Council show on their website, and I've requested a new version for use on Wiki (see here). Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 16:35, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Okay, wouldn't worry about this. The only reason I brought it up is that if the coat of arms was unchanged since 1963, we could potentially get a free version. But it hasn't. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 16:05, 9 October 2013 (UTC)


  • Is fortress (which redirects to fortification) an appropriate term to use in the open sentence? I would argue that while the military history behind the castle is of great importance, its role as a modern tourist attraction and landmark of Edinburgh is more well known to the layman reader. For this reason, I'd consider moving at least some of the closing sentence "As the backdrop to the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo the castle has become a recognisable symbol of Edinburgh and of Scotland." to the first paragraph.
  • "from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock" would read easier as "situated on top of Castle Rock". I wouldn't worry about mentioning that the rock is volcanic in the opening sentence - just describing what and where the castle is should suffice.
  • "St Margaret's Chapel, which dates from the early 12th century and is the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh" - per MOS:LEAD, this fact needs to be reproduced somewhere in the article body



  • "cut through the surrounding sedimentary rock, before cooling" - don't think the comma here is necessary deleted
  • "rearing up to 80 metres" - what does "rearing" mean in this context? Re-worded
  • "basalt is an extremely poor aquifer." - I think this needs a brief explanation to a non-geologist as to why this is specifically a problem

Earliest habitation[edit]

  • It might be worth starting this section with a brief sentence explaining that there is contention over when Castle Rock first became inhabited
  • "Documentary reference to occupation of the Castle Rock can be found as early as the mid-2nd century AD". But the lead says "Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC". I think this needs clarifying - though a later paragraph refers to the 1980 survey showing evidence of settlement in the Bronze or Iron Age, this doesn't specifically equate to 9th c. BC
  • "William Camden's 1607 Britannia records" - explain briefly what Britannia is (eg: survey)
  • "The archaeological evidence becomes more compelling in the Iron Age." - this doesn't sound particularly encyclopedic prose. Is the point here to show that it's more likely that Castle Rock became inhabited in the Iron Age rather than the Bronze Age?
  • Related to above - this paragraph is cited to a single source. Can you confirm that all sentences are correctly cited to it?
  • "The dig revealed" - unclear what this refers to - the 1980s archaelogical survey?
  • "at Edin's Hall in the Borders" - I think Scottish Borders is preferable - though most people in Scotland know exactly what is meant by the Borders, foreign readers won't

Early Middle Ages[edit]

  • "The castle does not re-appear in contemporary historical records from the time of Ptolemy until around AD 600" - worth mentioning (either here or in the previous section) when exactly the time of Ptolemy was (ie: 2nd century AD)
  • "Then, in the Brythonic epic Y Gododdin" - epic what? Suggest "In the Brythonic epic poem Y Cogoddin" Done
  • "reign of Indulf (ruled 954–962)." - I think "ruled" is redundant Distinction between regnal dates and vital dates, changed to "r." throughout
  • The picture here File:Yr.Hen.Ogledd.550.650.Koch.jpg needs a caption to explain its relevance to this section
  • A brief explanation of what a midden is would be useful Done

High Middle Ages[edit]

  • "Fordun places his widow" - it's not immediately obvious this is talking about Fordun claiming where St Margaret was - might be worth rewording or clarifying slightly Clarified
  • "administrative reforms" (wikilinking to Davidian Revolution) - I'd suggest explicitly mentioning the "Davidian Revolution" eg : "though his administrative reforms (known to contemporary scholars as the Davidian Revolution)" Suggested wording applied
  • "although two 12th-century stone buildings are known" - slightly confusing wording, how about "although there is evidence of two stone buildings from the 12th century" Clarified
  • "By the end of the 12th century, Edinburgh Castle was established as the main depository of the national archives" - is "national archives" here the National Archives of Scotland? Not really, changed to 'official state papers'

Wars of Scottish Independence[edit]

  • Can we add the year the throne became vacant (ie: 1286) here?
  • "Edward had much of the relics, records and treasure removed from the castle to England" - I don't think you can remove something to somewhere else. Suggest "moved" instead of "removed"
  • "A large garrison was installed, 325 strong in 1300" - "strong" isn't particularly encyclopedic, could this be reworded? The sentence may also benefit being split into two - the second one specfically talking about de Houghton and Walter
  • "After the death of Edward I" ... through to "prevent re-occupation by the English" - can you confirm the single source cites all of the prose here?
  • Last sentence in the second paragraph is unsourced
  • "Edward III of England determined to carry on Edward I's project" - I don't understand what this bit means. What "project" specifically?

David's Tower and the 15th century[edit]

  • "The so-called "Black Dinner" which followed saw the two boys summarily beheaded on trumped-up charges , in the presence of the ten-year-old King James II (ruled 1437–1460)" I think this needs rewording. We know who the "two boys" are from the previous sentence. Were they really beheaded in front of James II - I suspect they were just tried!
  • "Douglas' supporters subsequently laid siege to the castle, causing some damage" - don't need "some", if we don't know the specific damage occurred, it can just read "causing damage"
  • "In 1464, the access to the castle ... out of the castle" - not really part of the GA criteria but I tend to avoid using the same noun in the same sentence if I can. The second "castle" could be replaced with "grounds"
  • "James III was shut up" - implies he was merely told to keep quiet, how about "James III was locked up"
  • "he negotiated a settlement with his brother" - who is his brother?
  • "The first record of an armoury for the manufacture of guns occurs" - should be past tense to be consistent with the rest of the paragraph, ie: "occurred"
  • "a set of cannon described by a Venetian writer as powerful and beautiful weapons which were captured by the English at Flodden in 1513" - whom specifically? Is this a direct quotation?
  • replacing with another expression of admiration for Borthwick's workmanship. Not a direct quotation but paraphrased in cited source. Kim Traynor | Talk 21:34, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
  • "and by 1541 the castle had a stock of 413 hagbuts" - "hagbuts" can read "them" - we know what it's referring to from the previous sentence
  • "Meanwhile, the royal family began to stay more frequently " - shouldn't "royal family" be in upper case? I can't remember
  • There is an old convention of giving "Royal" an initial capital, but I suppose it depends on how much of a monarchist one feels; here it would appear inconsistent with the many other occurrences of "royal". Kim Traynor | Talk 21:44, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
  • "Royal Mile" doesn't need quotes. This is the first mention of the term in the article prose, and a little explanation of how it got the name would be useful

16th century and the Lang Siege[edit]

  • "although little work appears to have been carried out" - according to whom / what exactly?
  • Is this not covered by the source reference? Conclusion arrived at by a former chief inspector of Ancient Monuments.
In cases like this, I prefer that it's attributed to an opinion, as somebody's view of what "little work" is may be different to somebody else's. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 16:03, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I hope the way it is now expressed gets round the problem of it being an opinion.:) Kim Traynor | Talk 13:18, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
  • "Upon James' death 25 years later," - "James'" can be "his"
  • "Mary's own reign, however, was already drawing to a close." - this makes it sound a little like a dramatic work. Stick to straight facts - I'd probably leave this sentence out.
  • "Moray appointed Sir William Kirkcaldy of Grange as Keeper of the Castle" - when exactly?
  • "Kirkcaldy of Grange" is referred to as simply "Grange" in the remainder of the paragraph
  • "By 17 May these were ready, and the bombardment began" - confused by what this refers to exactly
  • "The following day Grange came out" - I'd change "came out" to something else, it's too informal (and means something completely different in modern language!)
  • "When it was made clear that he would not be allowed to go free Grange resolved" - I think a comma is needed between "free" and "Grange"
  • "surrendering to the English rather than to the Regent Morton" - overlink, this redirects to James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton which is mentioned earlier
  • As a general point, the pictures of key figures in the castle's history should have their captions expanded to briefly explain how they're important. For example, File:Jean Clouet 004.jpg could read "Sir William Kirkcaldy of Grange was appointed Keeper of the Castle in 1567 (?)"

Nova Scotia and Civil War[edit]

  • "although the battery's position: obscuring" - I don't think we need the colon

Garrison fortress: Jacobites and prisoners[edit]

  • "during the mopping up of the King's enemies after the Restoration" - is "mopping up" the right term to use here?
  • Last sentence in this section is unreferenced


Portcullis Gate and Argyle Tower[edit]

  • "in the belief that the 9th Earl of Argyll" - Early of Argyll is already wikilinked earlier

Military buildings[edit]

  • "the garrison moved to Redford Barracks" - Redford Barracks is already wikilinked

Mons Meg[edit]

  • The units used should be consistent in the order they appear. Since this is talking about a historical cannon, I would use imperial first, then metric.
  • "near the River Forth, some 2 miles (3.2 km) distant" - "away" sounds better than "distant"

Half Moon Battery and David's Tower[edit]

  • Regent Morton overlinked again
  • As above, keep measurements consistent, using imperial first for historical building features
  • "The tower was rediscovered in 1912," - how did this happen, were they excavating other features?

Queen Anne Building[edit]

  • "Scottish National War Memorial" - wikilink first usage of this term

Scottish National War Memorial[edit]

  • "The memorial is maintained by a charitable trust known as the Scottish National War Memorial" - are you sure the trust is the same name as the memorial itself?

Present use[edit]

  • Would it be worth mentioning which bits are owned by the army, specifically that the guardroom is part-shared (according to the source)?
  • That's a rather tall order, as I don't think we'd find a source delineating the army's precise ownership of or responsibility for parts of the castle. I suspect the lines of demarcation between them and Historic Scotland are quite flexible. Kim Traynor | Talk 11:44, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
No, all I meant was just take the information off page 2 off the source provided here Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 16:04, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
  • "Edinburgh Castle remains the most popular paid visitor attraction in Scotland, with over 1.3 million visitors in 2011" - according to the source it's over 1.2 million
  • Redford Barracks overlinked again
  • Does public duties need to be wikilinked here? It's a common term

Symbol of Edinburgh[edit]

  • The first part of this paragraph appears to be unsourced

GA Checklist[edit]

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose, no copyvios, spelling and grammar): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (reference section): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images and other media, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free content have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:

All the issues above are minor, in my view, and easy to resolve, so I am putting the review On Hold. Most of the comments are relating to making better image captions or to clarify something that is linked so the reader isn't obliged to click on it to further their understanding. Some parts of the article are very well written and although I have checked the article carefully, I am having difficulty finding anything else to comment on and criticize. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 17:41, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

It looks like we are nearly complete. There are two [citation needed] tags outstanding on the article, after which the review can be passed. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 16:13, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Actually, since there's only two, I should be able to make an effort to locate sources. I've done that, and I believe all of the GA criteria are now met, so I'm happy to say the review has now passed. Well done. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 16:23, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
That's good news. Many thanks for all your help and support. Kim Traynor | Talk 16:35, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Fantastic! I was just about to start work on this but I see its all done! Thanks Ritchie for your speedy and thorough reviewing. Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 15:14, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Castellum Puellarum[edit]

I'm all for Scotch pride but, even leaving aside the fact that "Harry Potter" (o_O) confused a plural genitive with an adjective, it is dubious to the point of WP:FRINGE/POV that this Maiden Castle out of all the other ones derived its name from its supposedly unvanquished reputation into distant antiquity. Leaving that as the conclusion of the paragraph with an opining "simply" gives the dubious proposition WP:UNDUE status, particularly when it seems much more likely all these Iron Age sites simply preserve some Brittonic name ending with -dun ("rock"/"fortress"). I just happened to find this 19th century source to that effect but surely someone has mentioned this more recently. In any case, we shouldn't be substituting new touristy legends for the old religious ones. — LlywelynII 21:11, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Plan of castle image[edit]

Would it not be appropriate to make this very informative plan larger as it is hard to see at it's current size. If it were to be centred and doubled in size with the key to the side or below, it would be far more usable.--Nozzer71 (talk) 12:36, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Garrison Commander updated[edit]

I've amended the Garrison Commander, which previously showed Maj Gen (retd) Mike Riddell-Webster. He is the Governor of Edinburgh Castle, not to be confused with the military position of Garrison Commander. The current Comd is Lt Col Douglas J Mackay. // Steve (talk) 23:22, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

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