St Triduana, also known as Saint Tredwell, has an affinity with both Edinburgh and Orkney. A Pictish saint who is famous for gouging her eyes out in order to spurn the attentions of an unwanted, but insistent, suitor (AD 500s), and who is, therefore, the patron of all those with eye issues, has a well and chapel dedicated to her here.
Built in the 1400s, St Triduana’s Chapel is hidden away from the main attractions, just off a quaint street in Restalrig ‘village’. Stop off on your way to Portobello and find the newly (re)built Meadowbank Sports Centre on London Road, next to the Edinburgh Palette art studios at St Margaret’s House where they often have good exhibitions (number 151). Turn left at Jock’s Lodge, the main junction, and go down and under the railway bridge and straight across at the next (mini) roundabout to Restalrig Road South (don’t be diverted by St Triduana’s Rest). Attached to St Margaret’s Church where medieval pilgrims came to make offerings and bathe their eyes in St Trid’s waters in exchange for a cure, the chapel is an unusual hexagonal shape.
Locate the key by calling Edinburgh’s St Margaret’s Parish Church in advance on 0131 554 7400. It’s free and open 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Saturday and 12:30 – 5 pm on Sundays, but you may only get to admire the outside and peer through the gaps in the stone to the flooded stone floor and fascinating stone remains. It and the ancient kirkyard are still worth visiting.