Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Nether Bow Has Vanished

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE NETHER BOW HAS VANISHED (S8x48) 3C (4C set) Robert Bremner RSCDS Book 13

1- 8 1s set to 2L and circle 3H round to left, 1s set to 2M and circle 3H round to left
9-16 1s lead down the middle for 3 steps, back to top and cast to 2nd places to face diagonally in with 3s
17-24 1s+3s set twice and circle 4H round to left
25-32 2s+1s set twice and circle 4H round to left
33-40 1s set twice, lead up to top and cast to 2nd places
41-48 2s+1s dance R&L

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Information

The Nether Bow (Netherbow) was a gate (port) in one of the town walls around Edinburgh which was pulled down in 1764.

There have been several town walls around Edinburgh, Scotland, since the 12th century. Some form of wall probably existed from the foundation of the royal burgh in around 1125, though the first building is recorded in the mid-15th century, when the King's Wall was constructed.

The early wall had two ports: the Upper Bow or Over-Bow, in the vicinity of what is now Victoria Street, and the Nether Bow, on the present Royal Mile near Fountain Close, which was located around 46 metres (151 ft) further west than the later structure.

In the 16th century the more extensive Flodden Wall was erected, following the Scots' defeat at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. This was extended by the Telfer Wall in the early 17th century. The walls had a number of gates, known as ports, the most important being the Netherbow Port, which stood halfway down what is now the Royal Mile. (Early records mention a west gate in 1180, a south gate in 1214, and the Netherbow Port in 1369.) This gave access from the Canongate which was, at that time, a separate burgh.

The walls around Edinburgh were not particularly effective as defensive barriers and were breached several times. Primarily, they functioned to control trade, tax goods, and deter smuggling. By the mid-18th century, they had become obsolete for both defense and trade, leading to the demolition of various sections.

The Netherbow Port was pulled down in 1764, and demolition continued into the 19th century. The clock and weathervane were saved and are now part of the Gallery of Modern Art at Dean. Today, a number of sections of the three successive walls survive, although none of the ports remain.

The sculpted tablet on a tenement in the Royal Mile indicates the spot once occupied by the town gate known as the Netherbow Port.
Sculpted Tablet On The Site Of The Netherbow Port

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Edinburgh Town Walls article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Kim Traynor under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

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