Dunfermline, Scotland

Wednesday, August 15, 1928

Went to Edinburgh in the morning on the train with Jack, Mairi and Mrs. R. Walked along Princes Street, the main street and reputed to be one of the prettiest streets in the world. On one side of the wide street are the stores while on the other is a beautiful park. Upon a high, rocky bluff stands Edinburgh Castle. After buying Jean a tartan, we walked up to the castle. In the castle yard at the highest point is a beautiful war memorial for the men in all branches of the world war. Flags, rolls of honor, tablets and bronze figures cut in relief were there. Also a roll of honor sealed in a casket by the Prince of Wales in 1927 and placed on the highest bedrock within the castle. The castle is in good condition. Saw the crown, a couple of gold swords, and a couple of jeweled diamond ancient royal jewelry. Saw Mary Queen of Scots room, the banquet hall, chapel, etc. The old castle overlooks the whole city and the Firth of Forth.

We then walked down the streets over the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace, stopping at St. Giles Cathedral. It is a large medieval church full of tablets, etc. and has a Thistle Chapel where the Order of the Thistle meet. This chapel is most wonderfully carved in wood and each member or knight has a chair-place over which is the sword King George [used when he] made him a knight of this Order. The family coat of arms are on the back of each chair. The Prince of Wales is a member.

The old Scottish Parliament buildings are next to St. Giles. At the end of the Royal Mile, the Holyrood Palace stands at the foot of a large rocky cliff. It is square in shape with a court in the center. In this palace are the Royal Apartments used by the King and Queen every year while visiting Edinburgh. Also, besides picture galleries, are Queen Mary’s rooms with her original bed and hangings, Lord Darnley’s rooms, bed, etc., and the spot where Rizzi [David Rizzio] was assassinated at Darnley’s order because of his intimacy with Queen Mary. The chapel is in ruins, but very fine ones. It also contains a vault holding a number of Scottish kings.

Leaving here we taxied back to Princes Street where we had tea at Crawford’s and returned to Dunfermline on the train. In the Princes Street Gardens is a large flower clock that really keeps time. Also a number of fine statues and a very large and elaborate monument to Sir Walter Scott.

This eve Dr., Jack, Mairi and I motored to Lake Levin where we saw the island prison castle of Queen Mary. With the help of Douglas, she escaped and fled to an old castle near Dunfermline on the Firth and was on her way to another when she was captured after crossing the Firth and finally beheaded.

Tuesday afternoon we again went through the church at Dunfermline and this time up the narrow, dark stairways to the Nuns’ Cloisters and the tower from which there is a fine view. From here Ben Lomond can be seen, 55 miles. Tonight Dr. told us of his war experiences and of the great danger of malaria in Greece.

Not a letter from home since Boston. Am leaving tomorrow after lunch. It was in St. Giles that John Knox preached against Catholicism.

Comments are closed.