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Edinburgh Castle from Bruntsfield

with shinty being played in the foreground

Shinty at Bruntsfield

Engraving  -  View from Bruntsfield, looking towards Edinburgh Castle, with shinty in the foreground

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Ian Smith

 

The whole picture     Zoom-in to top-left    Zoom-in to centre    Zoom-in to bottom-right

 

Edinburgh Castle from Bruntsfield

with shinty being played in the foreground

The Picture

Here is an interesting early engraving looking to the north from Bruntsfield towards Edinburgh Castle.  The steeple of St Giles church can be seen on the right-hand side of the picture.  There appears to be a glimpse of the Borough Loch in the foreground.  The Borough Loch was drained long ago.

I thought the game being played might have been hurling.  Others have thought it to be golf. 

However, John Burnett, author of books on early Scottish sport who gave me some advice:

 

The Engraving

The Process

The process used to produce this print appears to be 'etching and engraving' with the colouring added later.  In 'etching and engraving', the ink is held in the recessed areas of the plate. Depending on the depths of these grooves, different amounts of ink are held, thus producing lines of varying thickness and darkness.                                    [Zoe Whitley]

Zoom-in

The lines of the picture can clearly be seen by zooming in to the top-left,   centre or  bottom-right of the picture.

This picture appears to be the work of an engraver named Slack.  His signature can be seen by zooming-in to the bottom right-hand corner of this picture.  There is also a copy of this engraving (without the colour) in the collection of the Edinburgh Room at Edinburgh Central Library. It is dated 1798.

I have not yet traced Slack in any  reference books.  I would be interested to know if this engraver produced other engravings and if these were published in any help.  If you can answer these questions, could you please email me?

  Thank you.        -  Peter Stubbs

 

Comments

1.

John Burnett

John Burnett wrote:

"It is 99% likely to be shinty.  The game was certainly played by boys in Edinburgh in the first half of the 19th century, and I think the figures are supposed to be boys / apprentices / young men. 

The lack of full teams is of no consequence  -  games were often played with small numbers until late in the century.  Shinty was in fact common in Lowland Scotland until c.1850 and I will add this.

The only minor problem is that it's not a very good picture - in particular, only cricket was played with bats which had long thick blades.  Golf clubs sere similar in shape (though not in materials) to modern ones, and camans for shinty were similar but with a handle that was intended to be held vertically.

Golfers of that period are represented as older men, better dressed.  But that leaves the possibility that instead of being a not very good picture of shinty, it's actually a bad picture of golf"                                            [John Burnett]

 

Comments

2.

Sheila McGregor

France

Thank you to Sheila McGregor who wrote:

The View

"The building on the extreme right of St Giles in this picture is Heriot's Hospital."

The Game

"I'm certain that these are shinty players.  They appear to be using the single-handed Argyll (Kintyre) club illustrated by Robert Craig MacLagan in The Games and Diversions of Argyleshire (1901)."

Sheila added

Bruntsfield

"I grew up in Bruntsfield Gardens, which still looks exactly as it did, at least outside. But in those days the bairns all had Scottish surnames and most of them had Highland surnames."

Sheila McGregor, France:  March 21, 2009

 

Please click here to zoom-in and see more detail of the engraving.

 

Engravings from Modern Athens  -  Published 1829

Index                 View from Craigleith                View from Calton Hill

Around Edinburgh

Distant Views

Old Town

New Town

Churches

Schools

Leith

 

 

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks