Although in a technical sense, there is rather more than one hill in the region known as Red Hill, there is little dispute over which of them is the red hill.
The reason for its redness is not, as one may well expect given the progress of the Ritual of the Seven Hills, due to the blood spilled there for human sacrifices during the rituals. That is the obvious conclusion, but it is the wrong one, although an understandable error. The true story of the red hill is far more sinister.
The name of the hill is not truly red, but rade. A combination of semantic drift and the Australian accent is to blame for the confusion. The true name, of course, derives from the Faery Rade (or, in its darker aspect, the Wild Hunt), which took flight from this hill and dwelt within for many centuries. The Rade’s members made their home here to overlook nearby Arthur’s Seat, and guard the long-slumbering monarch through his years of sleep. Plus, they had been getting kind of bored since the extinction of the British lion, and seeking new challenges to hunt – the Tasmanian Devils and Tigers were just the thing.
The Rade has moved on now, its function unnecessary in Arthur’s absence and its own rest disturbed by the ever blooming metropolis that now nigh surrounds the hill. But on midwinter’s night, if the moon is visible, one may occasionally glimpse the Wild Hunt passing across its face.
Suburbs near Red Hill: