St Anthony's Chapel: Historic Edinburgh ruin closed due to falling masonry fears

A historic ruined chapel in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park has been closed off to the public due to safety fears.

Historic St Anthony's Chapel is closed to the public over fears of a masonry fall.
Historic St Anthony's Chapel is closed to the public over fears of a masonry fall.

St Anthony’s Chapel, which is believed to date from the 14th century, has been cordoned off over fears of a masonry fall at the site.

Having stood for hundreds of years in a ruinous state, the medieval monument is a popular attraction among walkers and one of the few permanent man-made structures within the vicinity of the summit of Arthur’s Seat.

Historic Scotland, which manages Holyrood Park, erected a sign at the site explaining fears over a possible future masonry fall had forced the chapel’s closure.

The sign reads: “During a condition check, we identified a potential risk that needs to be explored further.

"The area is closed while we undertake further detailed examination and remedial works”.

A spokesperson for Historic Scotland confirmed St Anthony’s Chapel would be closed to the public until a thorough inspection of the stonework had been carried out.

The spokesperson said: “St Anthony’s Chapel has been closed for high level masonry inspection.

"Our ranger team installed an exclusion zone and signage around the structure while a site inspection was recently conducted.

"These are precautionary measures for public safety and will remain in place until we have reviewed the inspection report.”

In June, it was announced that Historic Scotland had planned to carry out inspections at its properties that had been identified as a potential safety risk to visitors and staff from unstable masonry at high level.

A list was drawn up and a number of historic sites, including Craigmillar Castle in Edinburgh, Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian, and Direlton Castle and Tantallon Castle, both in East Lothian, were closed temporarily to the public as a “precautionary measure”.

The Radical Road, a walking route at Salisbury Crags near St Anthony’s Chapel, also remains closed for the foreseeable.

The famous pathway, believed to have been frequented by pioneering geologist James Hutton in the 18th century, was closed as a precaution due to falling rock.

It was temporarily closed off in September 2018 after 50 tonnes of rock fell from the cliffs making up Salisbury Crags. It has never reopened.

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