Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Royal Mile 18 - Canongate
We are now on the Canongate part of the Royal Mile, which is named after the monks or 'canons' of Holyrood Abbey (now a ruin behind the Palace at the foot of the Royal Mile). In the 12th century they were given royal permission to build and rule their own town, which soon stretched from the Abbey all the way up to the Netherbow Port (see Royal Mile 16). In other words, Canongate used to be completely detached from Edinburgh, separated by the city wall. Canongate itself was never walled and relied on the power of the church for protection - in vain, as the entire town was sacked and burnt down several times over the centuries.