A fascinating look at Edinburgh’s proud military past

Today, Edinburgh Castle is primarily admired by tourists and locals for the drama it adds to the landscape of our capital.

Although a stroll down Princes Street on a (rare) sunny day might give the wanderer an appreciation of the castle’s aesthetic beauty, its historical importance to the defence of the city through the centuries can be easily forgotten, even with the not-so-subtle reminders of Edinburgh’s military past still surviving today in the form of the one o’clock gun or annual Royal Military Tattoo.

Edinburgh has been a site of strategic military importance over the centuries. It was seen as key to controlling Scotland and became the most besieged castle in the whole of the United Kingdom. The Romans, Vikings, King Edward I, Robert the Bruce, Oliver Cromwell, Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie have all been major players in both the building and ruin of Edinburgh which Stewart’s book explores, not to mention the bombing of the city by German forces during the First World War.

This illustrated book takes a look at the military heritage of Edinburgh from medieval times to the present day, covering events and conflicts such as the Land Siege of 1571 which had important implications not just for the local area, but the country as a whole.

An insightful and detailed guide for those with an interest in local and Scottish military history.

Edinburgh’s Military Heritage, by Gregor Stewart, published by Amberley, £14.99.

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