Way back in 1994 I had acquired Henry Lincoln's 'The Holy Place' in which he presents his geometry findings in the Rennes Le Chateau area of southern France, coupled with 'The Temple And The Lodge' by his two co-authors of 'The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail', and 'The Messianic Legacy', Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh.
'The Temple And The Lodge' had mentioned Rosslyn Chapel and Temple village, originally Balantrodach, 'Stead of the Warrior' I believe, and also a mysterious head which gazes out at the unwary passer-by down in Roslin Glen, which intrigued me and started me off on my searches of the landscape I had grown up in. (It is shown in the Header of this blog and is covered in an early post.)
I had also recently become a taxi driver and this enabled me to see the whole area in greater depth and detail, which was a definite bonus!
One day I happened to be coming back in from Lasswade and at the top of a ridge at Gilmerton Dykes there is a T-junction with Langloan which gives a panoramic view of Edinburgh and the Esk Valley and the Firth of Forth and Moorfoot, Pentland and Lammermuir Hills so I stopped to have a look.
To the northeast is Arthurs Seat with Dunsappie on its right flank and Salisbury Crags forming a notch on its left.
Through this notch can be seen a radio mast behind Burntisland in Fife(barely discernible in this photo), and it was when checking this on the map that the first hint of a possible alignment showed! I found that through this notch Holyrood Abbey/Palace, Pilrig Church and Pilrig House were on a near straight line along with some other interesting points. The Burntisland radio mast is a bit to the side of the line connecting these three sites from the road junction!
And in the opposite direction the village of Temple was also included on the line, though not shown here. More on that later.
While scanning the landscape I noted that somewhere near Caerketton in the Pentlands to the south west would form a right angle(90d) with this line and that somewhere around Carberry Tower/Hill would also form 90d to the north east. Checking on the map the exact 90d just missed the summit of Caerketton and touched the edge of the Carberry Estate. It also did connect with Newton Old Church(tower/ruin) and clipped the confluence of the two Rivers Esk(north and south) in Dalkeith Estate, which was to prove important in developing the penta-system described previously.
All good and well, a start has been made, and many months years decades later I can perhaps present my findings in a neater form! Except I couldn't resist extending the first line to the north to see what turns up! And needless to say something astonishing happened! Leaving in suspense till next time!
As I was saying, doing this in Google Earth I couldn't resist extending the original line north. This is the first time I have done this, as originally back in 1993/4 G.E. didn't exist, and using only Ordnance Survey maps I was restricted in the area I could examine. So extending north through Fife and across the river Tay the line passed just east of Perth and passed through the estate of Scone the site of Moot Hill where Scottish kings were crowned.
In these images I have tweaked the line a little to exactly pass through Holyrood Palace, Pilrig Church and Pilrig House, as I had originally found from the maps.
Pilrig House sits in Pilrig Park and is an Old Folks Home now, but was the home of the Balfours(of Pilrig), and I believe included a Prime Minister of Britain, and I found it intriguing that Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson was related, and the name is of course used for the hero of Kidnapped, David Balfour, and that Stevenson himself was of the Lighthouse Stevenson's, although chose a career as a writer.
Pilrig church can be seen from Pilrig House, but not much else. I would like one day to get into the House and look out through the little round window above the front door!
Anyway, it was this alignment which got me started way back in 1994. I could write a lot more about the early development of the geometry, perhaps more some other time!
What I need to do now is show what I have found from this session with Google Earth as it eventually ties in with what I have doing recently.
As previously said I extended this precise line to Scone and was totally astounded to find:
A direct hit on the Palace/House. Totally unexpected! Some 18 years after I first got some inkling of a geometric alignment in Edinburgh, and all that I have found since, I now find that original alignment connecting Holyrood Palace with Scone Palace!
Even as I sit here to reflect, I now see that this precise alignment defines the lay-out of the New Town of Edinburgh, which I can not leave unverified! So, let's see what happens when I check this out:
Precise to two decimal degree places, from Carlton Terrace, over Calton Hill and straight along Princes Street, the Holyrood - Scone line on a bearing of 342.61degrees, the three right-angled lines shown bearing: 252.61degrees. I have included the Old Town Royal Mile from Holyrood Abbey to the Castle and the George Street line from West Register House which goes through Charlotte Square and St Andrew Square.
Thus the New Town grid is defined! That the New Town runs roughly parallel to the not quite straight Royal Mile was always somewhat obvious, but to be at an exact right-angle to the Holyrood-Scone line I did not realize!
After posting the above I did play around a bit and came up with some interesting stuff, but shall limit myself to showing just one intriguing finding, for now at least! In a previous post I made much of a large face in Salisbury Crags near Holyrood Palace which even overlooks the Scottish Parliament, and have often wondered if any of our representatives have gazed out and thought they were seeing things!
Well the original line does in fact cut straight through it, and I had recently taken some more photos of it having noticed this:
The fence on the left is Holyrood Palace, the Sottish Parliament is to the right of where I was standing. I purposely took this photo from quite a distance because when I show a close-up everyone sees different things(myself included!). This I think shows the face clearly framed by the trees.
This image shows the Crags Face, with an exact(bearing: 252.61d) alignment to George Heriot's School, with an exact(27.61d) 45degree return to Pilrig, not quite the Church, but where the old Boundary Bar was, but is now called City Limits, directly opposite the Church and the top of Pilrig Street, where Leith Walk proper starts!
A possible exact square with sides 0.98 miles and diagonal 1.38 miles. I have not included the full square(s), as I want to conclude this exercise and it will take some time to explore the possibilities fully!
I will point out though that this diagonal exactly hits the top of St Giles Cathedral spire:
The observant of those who know Edinburgh may also note that the line from the Face to Heriot's includes the south-east corner of Old College and Greyfriar's Church is in the angle of side and diagonal. The City Chambers is also on the diagonal across the street from St. Giles, and the National Library is also on the diagonal!
Reminder: click once on any image and a full screen slideshow will open for better viewing!
Enough for now, I need to return to the main line, but first go drive the taxi for another fun filled Friday night in the Old and New Town!!
So, just to finish this section I extended this line to the south past Temple kirk with a ouple of high spots for line of sight purposes tp finish some 300yards from Hermitage Castle north of Newcastleton:
and the full line from Scone Palace to Hermitage Castle:
I shall finish here for now! There's still a lot to be done on this alignment, not least the grid of Edinburgh New Town! Next I want to look at a slight variation on this line which when extended was quite astonishing!