Photo: deargdoom57 on Flickr
Scotland’s last defense against the English
Noteworthy for: It had the unforeseen side effect of imprisoning the city’s inhabitants. Although they were able to come and go for a fee, very few could afford to do so.
In 1513 the largest battle ever fought between England and Scotland resulted in the Scots retreating to their capital and hastily building a defense around Edinburgh. This high stone barrier was named Flodden Wall, after the scene of the battle, and it enclosed the entire Old Town. However, according to legend, when the English troops arrived outside the wall they found that a drunken guardsman had left the gate open, and so scored a very easy victory.
In the 21st century, large parts of Flodden Wall still stand. The best preserved sections of the wall are at Pleasance, where the structure surrounded a monastery, and at The Vennel, where you can observe bullet holes in the wall. You can also walk along the wall from the end of the Royal Mile to the Castle Esplanade.