[Scotland Illustrated Contents]
In the hollow stretching between Salisbury Crags and Arthur Seat lies the Hunters’ Bog or Valley. This name it probably obtained from having been selected as a convenient field for the exercises of Archery, – an amusement which is of much older date in Scotland than our Southern neighbours would be inclined to believe. At its eastern extremity, on an eminence overlooking the King’s Park, stand the remains of the Chapel of St. Anthony. This spot commands a very extensive view; and even in the choice of a site for erecting a cenoby, seems to have been adopted on the same principle which pitched the tents of the religious orders of England, not in the wilderness, but wherever the surrounding country was richest and most beautiful. By whom this Chapel was occupied tradition does not inform us, and it must be left to conjecture to determine whether it was by a devout ascetic – earnest over rosary and rubric, and only desirous of mortifying his monkish passions – or, on the other hand, by a Scottish Friar Tuck, who could utter a benedicite, and roar out a song in praise of good fellowship in the same breath; and only waited till moonlight deepened on the forest – which, in former times, covered the adjacent district – to exchange cross and sackcloth for hunter’s jerkin and bow, and bring down “a stag of ten” amid the furtive shadows of the greenwood. St. Anthony’s Chapel is distant only a few hundred yards from the Palace of Holyrood.
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