Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Dalkeith Old Wood

Dalkeith Old Wood is another precious fragment of the 'wild wood' in lowland Scotland. Like the Cadzow Oaks, Dalkeith Old Wood is bounded on two sides by rivers. It lies between the North Esk and the South Esk before their confluence at a place known as the Meeting of the Waters. The Old Wood in effect covers a peninsula with an incredibly rare landscape of remarkable oak trees. Only six miles from the centre of Edinburgh,Dalkeith Old Wood remains a secretive place.

When King James VI received news of his mother's death on 8th February 1587,at Fotheringay in England, he retired early to his private apartments at Holyrood, without even eating supper. The next day he rose early and rode to Dalkeith, passing the site of his father's murder at Kirk O' Fields and on to the place he loved and knew so well.  Dalkeith had been the seat of the regent of Scotland during his minority. It was to Dalkeith and its beautiful park that the King sought the solitude in which to grieve for his mother. Though he grieved in private, publicly he was obliged to remain on good terms with Queen Elizabeth as her heir presumptive. He would inherit the English throne one day and be able to avenge his mother in that way.