is the capital city of Scotland. It is a centre of government,
law, commerce, culture and tourism. Situated on the south shore
of the Firth of Forth, its skyline is dominated by Arthur’s
Seat, and by Edinburgh Castle. It became a royal burgh by the
early 12th century and was formerly part of the old county of
Throughout the centuries the city was at the centre of political,
religious and cultural events in Scotland. In the 18th century
it was given the name Athens of the North, reflecting the astonishing
cultural achievements of Edinburgh residents in Enlightenment
society. Another less flattering nickname was Auld Reekie, which
referred to the smoke produced by Edinburgh’s many chimneys.
The city centre has two main parts, the Old
and the New
now linked as a World
Edinburgh was an important industrial town, with the largest
concentration of breweries and printing works in Scotland, and
an important paper-machine-making industry. Today Edinburgh
is home to the Scottish
Parliament and civil service and to the national museums,
galleries and library, and has a thriving financial sector.
It attracts tourists from all over the world, not least to the
Festival and other festivals, and in winter to its Hogmanay
Medieval Edinburgh clustered along a steep ridge, the result
of a glacial feature known as crag and tail: the crag being
the Castle Rock, the remains of an old volcano, and the tail
the ridge descending to Holyrood Abbey at the foot. The street
along the ridge has been known since the 18th century as the
as it runs between the two main residences of the medieval kings
of Scots, the Castle and the Abbey, and later Palace
of Holyroodhouse. Edinburgh Old Town Images.
Castle site has been occupied since prehistoric times and
has been recorded as a royal residence since the 11th century.
The Palace, on the highest part of the Castle rock, dates from
the 19th century and later, and contains the regalia of Scotland:
crown, sceptre and sword of state, and now also the Stone
The oldest building is St
Margaret’s Chapel, a small Romanesque building, restored
many times. The Castle also contains the National
War Museum of Scotland and the Scottish
National War Memorial, 1927, designed by Robert
Lorimer. The Esplanade was built as a parade ground in the
early 19th century and is now the scene of the annual Edinburgh
cannon known as Mons Meg, probably
manufactured in Flanders, is the Castles most famous piece of
on the Old Town skyline is the white dome of the Outlook Tower;
it contains the Camera
Obscura, installed in the 1850s to give a panoramic view
of the city by means of revolving lenses and mirrors. Gladstone’s
Land is a well-preserved 17th century house, renovated in the
style of the period by the National Trust for Scotland. The
present structure of St
Giles’ Cathedral, more correctly the High Kirk of
Edinburgh, dates mainly from the 14th and 15th centuries, though
of the outer masonry only the crown tower dates from that perod,
the rest from very necessary renovations by William Burn (1829—33).
Behind it in Parliament Square is Parliament House, a Renaissance
building built for the old Scottish Parliament by Sir James
Murray, now incorporated within the law courts and library complex
designed by Robert Reid. Also wthin this complex is the Signet
Library, a magnifcent colonnaded room by William Stark.
To the southwest the library of the Solicitors to the Supreme
Court was added in 1888—1892. Parliament
Hall, with its great hammer beam roof, is still used by
lawyers and their clients. The new Scottish
Parliament found a temporary home in the Assembly Hall erected
on the Mound in 1858—1859 to house meetings of the General
Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland. From 1929 it has been
the venue for the General Assembly of the Church
of Scotland. The twin towers of the adjoining New College
by Playfair form an impressive silhouette from below, along
with the single spire of the former Tolbooth, St John’s
Church. Old Edinburgh Images.
Chambers was originally built as the Royal Exchange in 1753—1761
by John Fergus, based on a design by John Adam; it was adapted
for Council use in 1811. The
Tron Kirk, by John Mylne, was reconstructed in the 18th
century and a new tower was added in 1829, after the disastrous
fire of 1824, which destroyed many Old Town buildings. Its fine
Renaissance roof survives, and it is now an information centre.
The John Knox House projects into the street; it is not certain
Knox ever lived in it, but it certainly dates from the later
to the High Street is the Cowgate, once an upper-class suburb,
but a deplorable slum by the 19th century and now an undistinguished
thoroughfare. The Magdalen
Chapel, built in the 1540s as the chapel of the Incorporation
of Hammermen, contains the only pre-Reformation stained glass
in Scotland still in its original site; it is now the headquarters
of the Scottish Reformation Society and is open to the public.
St Cecilia’s Hall by Robert Mylne is modeled on the opera
house at Parma in Italy. It belongs to Edinburgh
University and is still used as a concert hall and houses
an important collection of early keyboard instruments.
the foot of the Royal
is the Palace of
Holyroodhouse. Alongside is the ruin of the Augustinian abbey
founded by David I in 1128, and rebuilt on a much grander scale
from 1195 to 1230. It had been a medieval royal residence and
a new palace was built in 1501, greatly added to in 1528-36.
After damage in the Cromwellian period, complete reconstruction
took place in 1671-90 to designs by Sir
William Bruce, with another tower to the south balancing
the 16th century one, and joining and extending them into an
A new focus has been given to the Holyrood area by the
decision to site the new parliament building there.
is on the edge of the Royal Park; with Arthur’s Seat,
Crags and two lochs; it is a
remarkable piece of open country close to the city centre.
lowest part of the Royal Mile is the Canongate,
formerly a burgh separate from Edinburgh, with Holyrood Abbey
as its parish church. When James VII had the nave converted
as the chapel of the new Order of the Thistle, the Canongate
Kirk was built (1691) to designs by James Smith; its kirkyard
has the graves of many famous Scots, including Robert
Fergusson and Adam Smith.
Canongate Tolbooth (1591) is now a museum, as is Huntly House,
built in stages in the 16th and 17th centuries.
House, an impressive late 17th century house which has seen
many changes of use, has been restored as part of the Scottish
To the south of the Old Town is Edinburgh’s earliest
Georgian development, George Square, 1760s—70s. Nearby
are the buildings of the former Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh,
Scots baronial by David Bryce, with advice from Florence Nightingale,
1870—90, George Heriot’s School and Greyfriars
Kirk (1620), which was the first church to be built in Edinburgh
after the Reformation; in 1638 it was the scene of the signing
of the National Covenant. The old kirkyard has the tombs of
many famous people in Scottish history. Greyfriars Kirkyard.
A statue of a small
dog near the entrance commemorates a terrier, who was known
remained at his master’s grave for 14 years after the
latter’s death in 1858.
By the mid 18th century the cramped conditions of the old Edinburgh
had become a major problem and plans were made for expansion
to the north. The Nor Loch below the Castle Rock was drained
and the North Bridge was built to link to the new developments.
The first phase of the New Town, Princes Street, George Street
and Queen Street, with adjoining streets in a grid pattern,
was built to a plan by a young architect, James
Craig, in the 1770s, with Charlotte Square to the east and St
Andrew Square to the west, now the site of Edinburgh bus station.
St George’s Church in Charlotte Square, now West Register
House, was completed in 1814, to a design by Robert
Adam, greatly altered by Robert Reid. Much of the south
side of the square is occupied by the National Trust for Scotland,
which also has the Georgian House on the north side, furnished
in the style of the period. Bute House, formerly owned by the
Marquess of Bute, is now the official residence
of the First Minster of the Scottish Parliament.
Andrew’s Church (1785-7), now St Andrew’s and
St George’s, was built at the eastern end of George Street,
since the appropriate site in nearby St Andrew Square had been
occupied by the town house of Sir Laurence Dundas (1771) by
Sir William Chambers, now the Royal Bank of Scotland, with a
domed banking hall added at the rear (1857) by John Dick Peddie.
Also on George Street are the Assembly
Rooms, built in 1787 by the Rome trained John Henderson
to house social events such as dances. It is now a prominent
venue for the
Edinburgh Festival Fringe and other events.
Music Hall was added by William Burn in 1843. At the east end
of Princes Street is Register
House, begun in 1774 by Robert
Adam, headquarters of the National Archives of Scotland.
Further New Town areas were built in the early 19th century,
to the north, the northwest, and to the northeast below the
Calton Hill, where the Nelson Monument provides an excellent
viewpoint on a
clear day; the unfinished National Monument, to the dead of
the Napoleonic Wars, aimed to be a replica of the Parthenon
the foot of Calton Hill is the former Royal High School by Thomas
Hamilton, and Thomas Tait’s classical modern St Andrew’s
House. Access to the Old Town was improved by a causeway known
as the Mound. Overlooking it is the domed Bank of Scotland headquarters,
originally built by Richard Crichton and Robert Reid, and remodeled
as a neo-baroque pile by David Bryce. At its foot are the two
classical buildings of
Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, completed
1836, by W H Playfair, originally housing other bodies.
little to the east, the Sir Walter
Scott Monument, 1844, by George Meikle Kemp, a soaring Victorian
Gothic pile, dominates the skyline. On the north side of Princes
Street is Jenners
department store; established in 1838, it is the world’s
oldest independent department store. The current building, 1855,
by William Hamilton Beattie is remarkable for its spacious toplit
galleried saloon, still virtually unaltered.
Princes Street Gardens provide a green oasis, in spite of the
railway running below the Castle Rock to Edinburgh’s main
terminus at Waverley Station. At the west end of Princes Street
John’s Episcopal Church, built by William Burn 1815—18,
a splendid example of early Gothic Revival. St
Cuthbert’s Church, below in the Gardens, is on the
site of earlier churches dating back to the Middle Ages; it
retains the tower of its 18th century predecessor. Its entrance
is in Lothian Road, formerly known mainly for Edinburgh’s
main concert hall, the famous Usher
Hall, and the Royal
Edinburgh West End
In the late 19th century Victorian terraces spread comfortable
living to the west of the city centre of Edinburgh. The skyline of the area
is dominated by the three towers of St
Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. The Water of Leith runs
through the area and, nestling on its banks below the majestic
span of the Dean Bridge, built by Thomas
Telford, is the Dean Village. It grew round the flour mills
which had used the river’s water power for centuries,
and is now a popular residential area with renovated old buildings
as well as new building. Old Dean and Stockbridge.
is the Scottish
National Gallery of Modern Art, and
opposite is the Dean Gallery. Donaldson’s
College for the Deaf is a huge quadrangular building in
Elizabethan style by W H Playfair. Two other impressive school
the area are Daniel Stewart’s and Melville
Elizabethan, and the great late-Gothic chateau of Fettes
Royal College of Surgeons
of Edinburgh. Founded in 1505 it has survived, with difficulty
at times, to become one of the leading surgical corporations
Leith is the seaport for Edinburgh and was a separate burgh until
1920. It is north of Edinburgh city centre and is situated where
the Water of Leith enters the Firth of Forth.
Rosslyn Chapel, located near Edinburgh, was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair, third and last St Clair Prince of Orkney. It is in fact only part of the choir of what was intended to be a larger cruciform building with a tower at its centre.
Bygone Leith. Edinburgh Steam. Edwin Catford's Edinburgh. Old Colinton. Old Cramond. Old Currie, Balerno and Juniper Green. Old Dalry Edinburgh. Aerial views of Edinburgh. Edinburgh Trams. Old Gorgie. Old Leith. Old Murrayfield and Corstorphine. Old Newington, Grange, Liberton and Gilmerton. Old Portobello. Old Tollcross, Morningside and Swanston. Wheels Around Edinburgh.
The Illustrated History of Edinburgh's Suburbs The Illustrated History of Edinburgh's Suburbs shows how the countryside, farms and villages developed into urban streets, residential areas, shopping districts and industrial estates that are so familiar today. In the course of the last 150 years the outskirts of the city have been transformed, and they have expanded, in a way that would astonish Edinburgh residents of just a few generations ago.In this detailed and fully illustrated account of the suburbs, Sandy Mullay not only offers a concise history of each district, but he also features local anecdotes, myths and folklore, and he remembers remarkable, sometimes bizarre, episodes and notable individuals who played their part in the story. His survey will be essential reading and reference for everyone who takes an interest in their neighbourhood and in the complex, surprising history of the city itself.Recalled in this account are the origins and development of districts as diverse as Trinity, Warriston, Drylaw, Blackhall, Comely Bank, Murrayfield, Dairy, Stenhouse, Craiglockhart, Redford, Morningside, Newington, Liberton, Craigmillar and Portobello.
Airport, at Turnhouse to the west of the city, has grown in
recent years as an international airport. On its edge is Castle
Gogar, a stepped f-plan Manson of 1625, with fine Renaissance
detail, built by John Cowper.
Edinburgh: A New Perspective Edinburgh has a long and fascinating history. Its blend of old and modern architechture and its unique location make for a very scenic city, its spectacular skyline capturing the romantic nature at the heart of Scotland.
Portrait of Britain, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, Framed Each Edinburgh Print is one of a strictly limited edition, individually numbered out of 850 and signed. The original watercolours are used only for one edition and no other reproduction is made. The high quality of printing and the material used sets these prints apart. They are difficult to distinguish from the originals as they retain so much of the feel and delicacy of watercolour. The artists themselves are very involved in the printing process.
Edinburgh Then and Now.
Boys' Schools of Edinburgh.
Edinburgh (Rough Guide DIRECTIONS) Rough Guide Directions Edinburgh is the perfect companion whether you're on a week-long break or flying visit to the popular Scottish capital. This full colour, pocket guide includes 27 themed sections; from Royal Edinburgh and Literary Edinburgh to galleries and museums and traditional pubs. The main section of the guide: Edinburgh Places, gives a district-by-district account of the sights, restaurants, shops, transport links and nightlife, all generously illustrated. In addition there is comprehensive Edinburgh Festival coverage. Every listing and review is pinpointed on accompanying user-friendly maps, and the book is richly illustrated with hundreds of specially commissioned photos throughout.
Discovering Edinburgh: Illustrated Map Edinburgh, home to the Scottish parliament, is on the itinerary of many visitors to Scotland. This brand new edition retains the delightful water colour mapping, with individual paintings of all the main sights and landmarks. Popular areas at larger scale, hundreds of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars, comprehensive travel information and index. Includes: Large-scale plans of the Castle, Royal Mile, Botanic Gardens, Leith and Newington. Shop by shop street maps of Princes Street, George Street, Victoria Street and the Grassmarket. Railway stations, bus routes, taxi ranks and car parks. Historical and contemporary anecdotes. Suggestions for day trips out of the city. Comprehensive Edinburgh index.
A Grim Almanac of Edinburgh and The Lothians.
The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh was founded during one of the most disturbed and violent periods in Scottish History, yet it survived the religious and political conflicts of its early years to become the most influential medical and scientific body in Scotland. Fellows of the College created what became the foremost medical school in Europe and the English speaking world. At the same time the College took the lead in promoting measures to raise the health and welfare of a radically changing society in Scotland.In 1681 when the College was founded Scotland was a poor country economically dependent on the products of the land; two centuries later it was one of the leading industrial countries in the world. It was the close and constant involvement in the evolving problems of Scottish society that shaped the growth and development of College giving it a character and traditions quite distinct from those of all other British medical corporations. It was in meeting the medical problems of the time, as they presented in Scotland, that many of the Fellows of College earned their considerable international reputations. This book is a social history of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Physicians and Society: A History of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.