Entertainment centre of the town
During the 19th century the Grassmarket was the entertainment centre of the town. The military bands of the regiments stationed at the Castle would play on the fortress’s Half Moon Battery overlooking the busy marketplace.
In addition to the penny sideshows, performing animals, acrobats and street musicians, Wombwell’s Menagerie came to the Grassmarket annually during the festive season. The pupils from Heriot’s situated on the north side of the market place would climb over the school wall to visit the travelling zoo.
When the time gun which was then situated on the Half Moon Battery went off at one, the loud bang must have alarmed the animals.
The Association’s treasurer John Lovie has taken a look at Frederick James Ritchie’s headstone and reckons it can be cleaned and the lettering refurbished.
Click on to edinburghschristmas.com for details of the capital’s Christmas events.