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Bruntsfield Links Edinburgh

and The Meadows

Bruntsfield Links


Bruntsfield Links is where the first golf was played circa 1380. The Burghers were instituted in 1735 now known as Royal Burgess the Oldest Golf Cub in the world. The Rhind Stone pictured below is of two Burghers golfers with their caddies on the Bruntsfield Links.  When overcrowding of the golf course became a problem the Burghers (Burgess) moved to Musselburgh in 1874 and then made a final move to their present home in Barnton where they had a golf course designed by Tom Morris which opened in May of 1895. It was 1929 when King George V by royal proclamation allowing the Burgess to change name to The Royal Burgess Golfing Society as it is today.

Bruntsfield Links

The World's Oldest

Short Hole Golf Course 

Bruntsfield Links Free Golf Starter's Box Edinburgh
Bruntsfield Free Golf Links Edinburgh

Ye Old Golf Tavern

First Golf Club House

The first known Club House in the world was in Wright’s House a few yards up from the present Golf Tavern which was established in 1456 next to Bruntsfield Links. The Golf Tavern is still where golfers can rent clubs to play golf over the Links at Bruntsfield. The original golf house was where the first golf clubs met and arranged competitions circa 1380. Many famous people of the time played here including Kings and Queens.

Ye Old Golf Tavern first ever Golf Club House established 1456

The Rhind Stone 

by William Birnie Rhind RSA 

The Rhind Stone depicting two of the Burgher's golfers on Bruntsfield Links with their caddies. With Edinburgh Castle in the background. The Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh first incorporated in 1735 and became The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh.

Plaque from Oldest establishedGolf Club Burghers Royal Burgess

The Meadows 


The area of the Meadows was originally a Loch. Circa 1740 the Borough (Burgh) Loch was drained, which made way for the Meadows. The area was used for grazing sheep and cattle before the Loch was drained and laid out as it is today with grass and pathways. The Borough Loch had been one of the main water supplies for the City of Edinburgh. Once the Loch was drained, The Meadows were laid out as parkland, with narrow drainage canals, a summer house, Bandstand, tree-lined Walks and Avenues. On several occasions the area has been threatened with development but is still laid out in the design of circa 1800. The East Meadows was the site of the first Edinburgh football derby between the Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian football clubs on Christmas Day 1875 which became an annual event to the present day. In the distance you can see Arthur Seat and Salisbury Crags.

East Meadow


East Meadows Edinburgh

West Meadows


West Meadow Edinburgh

Meadows Pillars


There are six pillars two at the west entrance to the meadows stand at either of Melville Drive. Both have Unicorns on the top of the pillars. A further two are at the east end of Melville Drive the road that separates the meadows from Bruntsfield Links, however there is a lion on the top of one of the pillars and a unicorn on the other. The final two pillars are similar to the first two both have unicorns on the top. They stand at the entrance to Middle Meadow Walk on Teviot Place next to the Old Medical School.

Meadows Pillars Middle meadow walk
Meadows Pillars Middle meadow walk
Meadows Pillars North Melville Drive Edinburgh
Meadows Pillars  North Melville Drive Edinburgh

Nelson Pillars


The two pillars that stand at the east end of Melville drive were donated to the city of Edinburgh in 1876 as a thank you from printing and publishing firm Thomas Nelson and Sons for the help received by the council when their printing works were destroyed by fire. The Lion and Unicorn are part of the Coat of Arms of Scotland.

Lion Pillar Meadows East Gate
Meadows Pillars South.jpg
Meadows Pillars South Melville Drive Edinburgh
Meadows Pillars South Melville Drive Edinburgh

Whales Jawbones

Meadows Edinburgh

Jaw Bone Walk stretches from the foot of Meadow Place at Marchmont to the junction of the paths intersection of Middle Meadow Walk on the north edge of the Meadows. The Jaw Bones where the path gets it's name stood across the path at the entrance to the meadows at Meadow place. The whale’s jawbone came from Shetland for the Zetland and Fair Isle Knitting Stand and was presented to the people of Edinburgh at the International Exhibition of 1886. (Pictured 2012) No Longer in situ.

THE WHALE'S JAW-BONE ARCH, Jawbone Walk Marchmont Edinburgh
Jaw Bone Presentation Band 1886 Zetland and Fair Isle

  Helen Acquroff

Memorial Drinking Fountain 

Meadows Edinburgh

Helen Acquroff born on the southside of Edinburgh in October 1831 a talented teacher blind from the age of 11 years she excelled as a musician, pianist, singer and poet, she died at home 51 Clerk Street, Edinburgh in September 1887. The Fountain is memorial to her and life. She was an active member of the Temperance Movement. The inscription Reads: In Memorium Helen Acquroff Sister Cathedral 1889 Erected By Members of The IOGT And Other Friends.

Helen Acquroff Music Teacher Edinburgh

 Prince Albert Sundial

Meadows Edinburgh

The great International Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art was held in the West Meadows during the summer of 1886. Edinburgh and its Meadows site were given worldwide recognition. In the West Meadows an important piece of sculpture commemorating the opening of the Exhibition is still present .The Prince Albert Sundial is an octagonal pillar with a bronze armillary sphere which acts as a sundial. At the top of the pillar are shields with the Coronet of Prince Albert, The Arms of the Marquis of Lothian, The cipher of the Lord Provost, The Edinburgh city Coat of Arms and the Scottish Coat of Arms.

Prince Albert Sundial west Meadows Edinburgh

Banning of Football

The Royal Company of Archers has had its base in Edinburgh at Archers' Hall Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh since 1777. 100 yards from the East Meadows. The Royal Company of Archers is a ceremonial unit that serves as the Sovereign's Bodyguard in Scotland, a role it has performed since 1822. The Archer’s would have tournaments in the Meadows where they would regularly practice. In 1424 by the act of the Scottish Parliament the game of football was prohibited for the more necessary science of archery.


Meadows Edinburgh

Over time the Meadows have provided the people of Edinburgh the opportunity to a full range of activities. From football, bowling, tennis, cricket, golf, croquet, American football, baseball, touch rugby, quoiting, archery and even target practice for the Royal Company of Archers whose halls are close by in Buccleuch Street.  There have been concerts and the fun fare is an annual event. Everyone can use the Meadows as it is a public park. The Meadows are today designated as a Millennium Park, which together with the adjacent Bruntsfield Links where there is the oldest recorded short hole golf course. This can be used by all. In 1987 a one mile runner’s loop was marked out see below. The Meadows provide 36 acres of green belt in the city. Today the Meadows have changed little since they were laid out in the 1700’s.

East Meadows Mile Track Sri Chinmoy Athletics Club Edinburgh

SRI CHINMOY is a spiritual teacher who dedicated his life in the service of humanity. In his 43 years in the West, he endeavoured to inspire and serve mankind with his soulful offerings - his prayers and meditations, literary, musical and artistic works.




Our well established summer race series takes place on a flat accurately measured one mile loop around the Meadows in Edinburgh and are for mid-week speed sessions or an opportunity to try a 1 or 2 mile race.  All standards are welcome and the emphasis is very much on taking part and having fun! Sri Chinmoy, the founder of the club encouraged physical fitness as a means to self-transcendence and self-improvement. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SRI CHINMOY GO TO WWW.SRICHINMOYRACES.ORG

East Meadows. Edinburgh 1 mile loop
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