A CAVALCADE of some 300 horses and riders will parade the length of the Royal Mile on Sunday 15 September as Edinburgh City Centre Historical Re-enactment celebrates its 10th anniversary in spectacular style.
The Edinburgh Riding of the Marches, a uniquely Scottish event, celebrates a decade since the modern-day revival of the ancient custom of riding the boundaries, or ‘marches’ of the city.
The 2019 event will be led by the Edinburgh Captain and Edinburgh Lass, Connor Geddes and Rose Hessell, escorted by officers of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards mounted on traditional grey horses along with Edinburgh Captains and Lasses dating back to 2009.
The day starts early with the traditional high-energy gallops through countryside surrounding the city centre to re-enact the ancient custom of inspecting the Burgh Marches.
The 300 riders will then continue their journey through Holyrood Park before finally traversing up the Royal Mile, led by pipes and drums and Lord Provost Frank Ross.
Royal Mile commentary will be provided by The Voice of the Tattoo, Alasdair Hutton.
The timetable for the day is as follows:
9.30am: Riders start the first gallop from the land behind Drum Farm Feeds
12.45pm: Entertainment starts on the Royal Mile, to include St Ronan’s Silver Band, pipe bands from George Heriot’s School, Erskine Stewart’s Melville School and George Watson’s School, stunt-riding team Riders of the Storm, history re-enactment group History Matters and ceilidh band The Jacobites
3.20pm: Horses arrive at Holyrood Palace/Scottish Parliament area
3.33pm: Horses set off up the Royal Mile from Holyrood Palace/Scottish Parliament
3.55pm: Cavalcade of horses reach the Mercat Cross to assemble and commence the Ceremony with the Lord Provost
4.20pm/4.30pm: Event Concludes
Riders from as far as Canada, the USA and Australia will ride in this year’s celbration, which is organised by a small group of 13 volunteers.
The symbolic tradition of inspecting the common land dates back to at least 1494 and was first recorded on 31 October 1579.
On this date, a group of towns people gathered at the Provost’s house at 11 o’clock, from where they embarked on an inspection of the Marches of the Common Land, led by the Captain of the Town Guard, the Lord Provost, Bailies and Burgesses.
The inspection of the Common Land continued, until the demise of the practise in 1718.
In 1946 a special Riding of the Marches was held to celebrate peace and the end of the war.
The modern-day version, revived in 2009, also commemorates Randolph Murray’s return to Edinburgh with the ancient Blue Blanket and the tragic news of defeat of the Scottish Army at the Battle of Flodden 1513 and is in honour of those who sought to protect the integrity of Edinburgh’s Common Land and defend the inhabitants of the city.
For more information about the Edinburgh Riding of the Marches visit http://edinburghridingofthemarches.com/edinburgh-riding-of-the-marches