Featured Note of the Month: October 2018

Posted on 10/16/2018

Scottish note portrays "Halloween" poem author Robert Burns and Edinburgh Castle—one of the most haunted places in all of Scotland.

2017 Scotland £10 - Clydesdale Bank, front
PMG graded Superb Gem Uncirculated 68 EPQ
Click image to enlarge.

2017 Scotland £10 - Clydesdale Bank, back
PMG graded Superb Gem Uncirculated 68 EPQ
Click image to enlarge.

Country: Scotland
Catalog Number: 229Q
Date: 2017
Denomination: £10
Varieties: There are no varieties of this note. However, Scotland 229J looks very similar. The difference is the year and the back design.

What makes it special? The front shows Scotland’s bard himself—Robert Burns (1759-1796). The back of the note shows the ever-impressive Edinburgh Castle at the center with the Scott Monument and the Royal Scottish Academy on The Mound flanking the castle. The site of Edinburgh Castle has been occupied since the late Bronze Age or early Iron Age. The castle itself has been standing since the 12th century and measures 430 feet (130 meters) at the apex.

Why is it interesting now? As All Hallows' Eve approaches, we here at PMG wanted to bring you something spooky. Robert Burns wrote a poem in 1785 aptly titled “Halloween,” though it wasn’t published until the following year in the Kilmarnock volume. The poem describes life in Scotland during the 18th century around the time of Halloween. Burns said that Halloween is “a night when witches, devils and other mischief-making beings are all abroad on their baneful midnight errands.”

Did you know? Edinburgh Castle is listed as one of the most haunted places in all of Scotland. This shouldn’t be very surprising given how long it has been in operation and what it has gone through: several sieges and wars, Black Death plague, and even witch trials. The most famous witch accused was Lady Janet Douglas of Glamis who was charged with conspiring to kill King James V. Her servants were tortured into confessing of her witching intentions. She was burned alive at the stake in 1537, and castle visitors have reported seeing her ghost roaming the halls. Edinburgh also has a ghostly bagpiper that can be heard from time to time. The rumor has it that if the bagpiper is seen, then the castle will soon be attacked.

Can science explain what is happening at this wonderful castle? The answer: It has tried. In 2001, Dr. Richard Wiseman had 240 volunteers (with no prior knowledge of any hauntings) take tours of the castle. He tracked their responses. The result: Almost half of participants reported something odd—temperature swings, light flickering, orbs in photographs. That said, the next time you are in Scotland, be sure to check out Edinburgh Castle, but don’t forget to call Ghost Busters before you do.

Total graded by PMG: 23 notes

PMG median grade: The median grade for these notes is 67.

PMG highest graded: 68

Sales highlights: High-grade notes are available for about $50 each.

PMG Registry: The Clydesdale Bank set in the PMG Registry is the place to go for this note.


  • edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/when-a-scientist-tried-to-prove-edinburgh-castle-was-haunted-1-4582214
  • Knight, Charles. The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Difussion of Useful Knowledge, Volume 1. 1833. page 342.
  • thoughtco.com/the-ghosts-of-edinburgh-castle-3572726

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