Before Edinburgh became Scotland’s capital, the tiny Perthshire village of Scone was the capital. Edinburgh became the capital in 1437.
The Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, is the ancient block of stone on which Scottish Kings sat to be crowned. Since the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603, all British Kings and Queens have also been crowned on the Stone (it sits in a recess under the throne during the crowning ceremony). It is now kept in Edinburgh Castle.
Margaret Dickson was hanged in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket in 1724 but later discovered to be alive. Under Scots Law she was set free, but the words “until dead” were later added to the sentence of hanging.
Edinburgh has more heritage buildings than anywhere else in the world, some 16,000 from different periods in the city’s history.
In the 17thcentury, Edinburgh residents believed that rubbing burnt droppings from a dove would cure baldness (don’t try it, it doesn’t!).
Also in the 17thcentury, because people wanted to build their houses inside the city’s walls, Edinburgh became a pioneer in skyscrapers, with some houses having up to 11 stories.
Many of our students take the short journey through to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. It’s a fascinating place and very different from Glasgow. Here are some interesting facts about Edinburgh.
The company that created Grand Theft Auto (RockStar North) is based in Edinburgh and the Forth Railway Bridge appears in their 2004 game, Grand Theft San Andreas.
Rose’s Lime Juice is a very famous British drink. It was invented by Lauchlan Rose in 1867 and the first factory to make it was in Leith in Edinburgh.
“You’ll have had your tea?” is said to be the traditional greeting of any Edinburgh householder to a visitor. It means that the visitor will have already eaten and therefore the householder won’t need to put the kettle on! Like all good stories, this has a bit of truth behind it, but don’t worry, Edinburgh people are actually very generous!
The first King of the united Great Britain in 1603 was James VIof Scotland who then became James I of England as the English had not had any Kings called James before then. James was born in Edinburgh Castle.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica, one of the most famous encyclopaedias in the world, was first produced in Edinburgh. It was published in three volumes between 1768 and 1771 and the first edition caused controversy because the anatomy section contained “unvarnished portrayals of the unmentionable parts of the human body.”
Glasgow University moved to its current location in 1871. Before that it was on the High Street.
The University’s famous Lion and Unicorn Staircase and the Pearce Lodge nearby were originally in the High Street but when the University moved they moved too – stone by stone to the west end, along with the original gatehouse.
The University’s Hunterian Museum dates from 1807 and is Scotland’s oldest public museum. it has a large collection of art and scientific relics including the world’s first-ever ultra sound machine. Students at Glasgow School of English can go on a trip to the Hunterian.
Glasgow claims to have invented the Indian dish, Chicken Tikka Masala. We don’t actually know if this is true, but the story is that local curry house the Shish Mahal invented one of Britain’s favourite dishes in the 1970s, allegedly by throwing together spices and tinned tomato soup!
Glasgow is often rated as the top place for concerts in the UK outside London. If you like music you’ll enjoy it here. There are eight venues in the Top 100 list of places to watch gigs.