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St John's Cross

Marked today as a Maltese Cross in the cobblestones of the Canongate in Edinburgh, St. John's Cross once stood on the roadway to mark the boundary between the separate Burghs of Edinburgh and the Canongate. The Ancient Order of St. John is thought to have owned property near here in Mediaeval times. A plaque on the wall provides an explanation. The plaque and cobblestones were placed here in 1987 to mark the 40th anniversary of the re-establishment of the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem in Scotland. The Cross became a traditional meeting place while proclamations were read out from its steps. The original Cross now stands in the grounds of Canongate Kirk. St John's Land stands nearby and dates from 1767, while St. John Street runs south from here to Holyrood Road and was once the home of aristocrats such as the Earls of Aboyne, Dalhousie and Hyndford, and later of James Ballantyne (1772 - 1833), who was the friend and publisher of Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832).


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