Edinburgh Castle - Mons Meg - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
Panorama showing the side of Mons Meg at Edinburgh Castle. The picture was taken from a viewpoint beside this massive bombard and also shows a view over parts of the city. In the background is St Margaret's Chapel.
Edinburgh Castle - Mons Meg - FURTHER INFORMATION
Edinburgh Castle - Mons Meg - Edinburgh visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Edinburgh Castle - Mons Meg' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Lothian.
Mons Meg occupies pride of place overlooking Edinburgh from the highest point in the Upper Ward of Edinburgh Castle, in front of St Margaret's Chapel. It is very popular with tourists, who flock to have pictures taken beside this massive siege weapon. Beside it are several of the huge 20" (50cm) caliber cannon balls fired by the gun.
From the viewpoint next to the gun there are stunning views over the Argyle Battery in the Middle Ward of the castle and beyond over Princes Street Gardens and the rest of Edinburgh, the Firth of Forth and distant hills to the north.
About Mons Meg: Mons Meg was made around 1449, possibly by Philip III, Duke of Burgundy as a gift to King James II of Scotland. The gun, made by Jehan Cambier in Mons, Belgium, weighs 15,366 pounds (6,970 kg), is 15 feet (4.6 m) in length. The 20-inch (510 mm) calibre cannon fired balls weighing 400 pounds (180 kg) over a distance of up to 2 miles. However the heat and stresses caused by each round meant that Mons Meg could only fired up to 8 times a day.
Mons Meg saw action in the siege of Norham Castle in 1497, but the cannon was so heavy that it could only be moved 3 miles a day. It was retired from active service being fired ceremonially in 1558 to celebrate the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to the French Dauphin (heir apparent). It fired in 1617 when King James I returned to the castle to visit his birth place in the Royal Palace, and again in 1681 to celebrate the birthday of the Duke of Albany (later King James VII), when the barrel cracked and needed replacing.
For 75 years Mons Meg was stored at the Tower of London, returning to Edinburgh Castle to great local celebration in 1829. By 1980 it had suffered badly from exposure to the elements and was moved indoors for conservation, reappearing on the castle battlements in 2001. It is now a very popular tourist attraction in the castle.
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Bus: 24 to Lawnmarket.
Walk: Edinburgh Castle is at the western end of the Royal Mile, which leads down east to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament. This is about 15 minutes walk from Waverley Station and the Tourist Information Centre.