148 MEMORIALS OF EDINBURGH. occupied, the outer framework on one side being nearly cut away ; but its original position was doubtless one of importance, suited to its highly decorated character. The armorial bearings, though suggesting no relation to those of the Queen Regent, serve to prove that it had been executed for the mansion in which it was found, as the game arms, impaled on one shield, was sculptured over the uorth doorway of the building on the east side of the close, with the date 1557, already alluded to, as the oldest then existing on any house in Edinburgh,’ and the initials A. A., as represented below. The lintel had been removed from its original position to heighten the doorway, for the purpose of converting this part of the old Palace into a stable, and was built into a wall immediately adjacent ; but its mouldings completely corresponded with the sides of the doorway from which it had been taken, and the high land was rent up through the whole of its north front, owiug to its abstraction.e This portion of the Palace formed a sort of gallery, extending across the north end of the whole buildings, and internally affording communication from those in Todd’s and Nairn’s Closes, and that on the west side of Blyth‘s Cloae, with the oratory or chapel on the east side of the latter. The demolition of these buildings brought to light many interesting features of their original character. The whole had been fitted up at their erection in a remarkably elegant and highly ornate style ; the fieplaces especially were all of large dimensions, and several of very graceful and elegant proportions. One of these we have already alluded to, with its fine Gothic niche at the side; another in Todd’s Close was of a still more beautiful design, the clustered pillars were further adorned with roses filling the interstices, and this also had a very rich Gothic niche at its side, entirely differing in form from the last, and indeed from all the others that we have examined, in the apparent remains of a stoup or hollowed basin, the front of 1 It is not necessarily inferred from this that no older house exists. The walla of Holyrood admitted of being roofed again after the burning in 1544, and it is not unlikely that some of the oldest houses still remaining passed through the same fiery ordeaL This stone, which is in good preservation, is now in the interesting collection of antiquities of A. 0. Ellis, Esq. W e have failed to trace from the shield any clue to the original owner or builder of this part of the Palace ; but the data now furnished may perhaps enable others to be more successful. Sir Robert Carnegie of Kinnaird, who WBB appointed one of the Senatora of the College of Justice in 1547, and as Ambassador to France in 1551, had a great share in persuading the Duke of Chatelherault to resign the regency to Mary of Guise,-bore for arms an eagle displayed, aeure ; but his wife’s arms,-a daughter of Outhrie of Lunan,-do not correspond with those impaled with them, and the initials are also irreconcilable, The same objediom hold good in the cue of his son, a faithful adherent of Queen Mary.
KING’S STABLES, CASTLE BARNS, AND CASTLE HILL. I49 which had been broken away. We furnish an engraving of this apartment also, in the dilapidated state in which it existed in its latter days, with the large fireplace concealed, all but one clustered pillar, by a wooden partition.’ This apartment had also been finished with highly carved ornamental work, considerable portions of which had only been removed a few years previous to the entire destruction of the whole building. One beautiful fragment of this, which we have seen, consists of a series of oak panellings, about eight feet high, divided into four compartments by five terminal figures in high relief, and the panels all richly finished in different patterns of arabesque ornament of the finest workmanship. The demolition of this house. in 1845 brought to light a curious small concealed chamber on the first floor, lighted by a very narrow aperture looking into Nairn’s Close. The entrance to it had been by a movable panel in the room just described, affording access to a narrow flight of steps, ingeniously wound round the wall of a turnpike stair, and thereby effectually preventing any suspicion being excited by the appearance it made. The existence of this mysterious chamber was altogether unknown to the inhabitants, and all traditiou had been lost as to the ancient occupants to whom it doubtless afforded refuge. Another apartment in this portion of the house, on the same flat with the fine Gothic fireplace described above, was called the Queen’s Dead Room, where the noble occupants of the mansion were said to have lain in state, ere their removal to their final resting-place. The room had formerly been painted black, to adapt it to the gloomy purpose for which it was set apart, and the more recent coats of whitewash it had received very imperfectly veiled its lugubrious aspect. The style of the fittings of this room, however, and indeed of the greater portion of the building, was evidently long posterior to the date of erection, and the panel over the mantelpiece was filled with a landscape, painted in the manner of Old Norie. The inhabitant of this part of the house, when we last visited it, was a respectable old lady, who kept her share of the Palace in a remarkably clean and comfortable condition, and took great pride in pointing out its features to strangers. She professed an intimate knowledge of the original uses of the several portions of the house, and showed a comfortable- looking room on the first floor, commanding a very fine view to the north, which she called the Queen’s bedroom. Two round arched or waggon-shaped ceilings were brought to view in the progress of demolition, richly decorated with painted devices, in a style corresponding with the date of erection, and both concealed by flat, modern, plaster ceilings constructed below them. One of these, situated immediately above what was styled the Queen’s bedroom, had been lighted by windows ranged along each side of the arched roof, and in its original state must have formed a lofty and very elegant room. The roof, which was of wood, was painted in rich arabesques and graceful designs offlowers, fruit, leaves, &c., surrounding panels with inscriptions in Gothic letters. On one portion all that could be made out was, ge arbbili$ OF tt aigfitfob& On another was perfectly dehed the following metrical legend :- e 1 These remains are mentioned in Chambers‘s Traditions, with thin addition-‘#At the right-hand side is a pillar in the wme htg on the top of which there formerly, and till within theae-few years, etood the statue of a saint presiding over the font.” The author had doubtless been misled in this by the traditions of the neighbourhood, and the appearance of the jamb of the ancient fireplace partially exposed. We may remark that, except where it appears absolutely necessary for preventing confusion or error, we have avoided directing attention to those points on which we differ from previous writers.