Friday, April 1, 2011

A worthy Competitor

When in Edinburgh, be sure and stop by the ast rop pub in Grassmarket. Just a short stroll of Victoria Street, Cowgate and Candlemaker Row. You won't find another like it, says the proprietor, and he is spot on, I have it on good authority.

A wide collection of ales, and classic pub food second to none served with famous British hospitality.

A traditional pub of unique character, complete with medieval ghost (a small girl) and near the site of the last hanging in the Grassmarket, condemned men had their last meals here. Built on the site of an ancient tenement using the old buildings' original 17th century stone. The executions were prepared just opposite the pub, according to Sir Walter Scott:

«It was the custom, until within these thirty years or thereabouts, to use this esplanade for the scene of public executions. The fatal day was announced to the public by the appearance of a huge black gallows-tree towards the eastern end of the Grassmarket. This ill-omened apparition was of great height, with a scaffold surrounding it, and a double ladder placed against it, for the ascent of the unhappy criminal and executioner. As this apparatus was always arranged before dawn, it seemed as if the gallows had grown out of the earth in the course of one night, like the production of some foul demon; and I well remember the fright with which the schoolboys, when I was one of their number, used to regard these ominous signs of deadly preparation. On the night after the execution the gallows again disappeared, and was conveyed in silence and darkness to the place where it was usually deposited, which was one of the vaults under the Parliament House, or courts of justice.»


  1. Not ast rop, a strop. Beware.

  2. Yes, I thought it should have be a strop. I am always bewared with you nearby. :)


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