The new Scotsman newspaper delivery van on the esplanade at Edinburgh Castle in December 1965.
The new Scotsman newspaper delivery van on the esplanade at Edinburgh Castle in December 1965.

Edinburgh's past: 23 pictures from the 1950s and 1960s show the fascinating recent history of Edinburgh Castle

It’s one of the best-known landmarks in the Capital, attracting millions of tourists every year – and Edinburgh Castle was the venue for many memorable moments in the 1950s and 1960s.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 3:52 pm

Towering over Edinburgh’s city centre, historians believe there has been a royal citadel on Castle Rock since at least the 12th century during the reign of King David I.

It continued to be used by royalty for hundreds of year, but by the 17th century it was no longer used as a residential property, instead being used as a military barracks with a large garrison.

In the early 19th century, the historical importance of the structure was recognised and various restoration programmes have been carried out in the intervening years.

It’s claimed that Edinburgh Castle is one of the most attacked structures in the world – with research suggesting it has been subjected to at least 26 sieges in its 1,100 year history.

Indeed much of the older parts were destroyed in the ‘Lang Siege’ of the 16th century, although St Margaret’s Chapel survived and is now the oldest building in the city.

Many historical conflicts have involved the castle, from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite rising of 1745.

It also houses the Honours of Scotland, or Crown Jewels – consisting of the Crown of Scotland, the Sceptre, and the Sword of State – the Scottish National War Memorial and the National War Museum of Scotland.

It’s the second most-visited tourist attraction in the UK, and every August the esplanade becomes home to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, attracting even more visitors.

Here are 23 pictures to take you back to Edinburgh Castle in the 1950s and 1960s.

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