Monday, 22 August 2011
The Braid Burn
Yesterday I went for a lovely walk along the Braid Burn and then climbed Blackford Hill for some magnificent panoramic views over the city. The De Brad family lived in the area around 1080 till 1300 and that may be where the name Braid came from. There also used to be a castle.
The first building I came across was the lovely Dovecote. I'm not sure where the burn starts but it finally goes into the Firth at Forth at Portobello. On its western boundary there is a walk called the Fly walk. It was the route that Robert Louis Stevenson used when he walked from his home in Swanston into Edinburgh. www.robert-louis-stevenson.org/edinburgh
The Dovecote, built in the late C17th with 1965 nest holes.. It used to have five stone urns decorating it.. I carried on walking along the left of the river and saw some little buildings in the distance.
Out in the open and there was The braid Hermitage, it was finished by architect Robert Burn.
The following is an old description of the Hermitage. Braid House "Plantations also ornament the eminences which rise at each side of it; while the naked rocks, which pep in different places through the trees, certainly add considerably to the romantic nature of the scenery. These works of nature far transcend those of art; the artificial plots and little niceties of botanical ingenuity dwindle into nothing and and insignificance before them. The walk along the Braid is romantic in the highest degree.
The admirer of nature's work will find many things justly worthy of his contemplation. Blackford Hill rises near it on one side,Pentland Heights overhang it at a small distance on the other. On the south west are Braid Crrags, and a tract of open pasture grounds.
The Gate into the Ice House, a circular well with a domed ceiling.
Finally a steep walk up a wooded bank and out into the sunshine, the summit and the great views of Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills.
Up on the Blackford Hills were Thistles, Yarrow and Harebells. Yarrow used to be known as 'devils plaything', Itit was dedicated to the 'evil one' and was used in many spells. It can also be used to both suppress and cause nosebleeds.
Harebell was called this because of the belief that witches used juices squeezed from the flowers to tun themselves into Hares. Its also known as the Scottish Bluebell, and Goblins, Witches or Puck's thimble.