Edinburgh, Princes Street, Scott Monument

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Alternative Names Princes Street Gardens; Sir Walter Scott's Monument
Site Type COMMEMORATIVE MONUMENT
Canmore ID 74114
Site Number NT27SE 481
NGR NT 25585 73904
Council EDINBURGH, CITY OF
Parish EDINBURGH (EDINBURGH, CITY OF)
Former Region LOTHIAN
Former District CITY OF EDINBURGH
Former County MIDLOTHIAN
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Treasured Places - HLF funded

Built between 1840-4, this monument commemorates Sir Walter Scott. A statue of the author sits beneath the arches of a 61m high Gothic steeple, the upper parts of which carry statues of characters from his novels. Designed by the architect George Meikle Kemp, its construction was funded by public subscription.

Information from RCAHMS (SC) 8 August 2007

An image of this site has been nominated as one of Scotland's favourite archive images. For more information about the project visit http://www.treasuredplaces.org.uk


Architectural Notes

NT27SE 481 25585 73904

Architect: George Meikle Kemp
Builder: David Lind

Other designs for the Scott Monument
Obelisk by W H Playfair 1835, to be 200 ft high on base of 44ft. Designed monument to go in 9 different places
Rickman & Mussey 1835 - not executed
Details transcribed from NMRS Architecture Catalogue. Correct spelling is Rickman and Hussey. Information from RCAHMS (SC) 6 May 2008

Erected 1840 - 1844 at a cost of nearly 16,000 [pounds] after designs by George M Kemp. The white marble statue of Scott is by Sir John Steell and was place in position in 1846.
Stained glass designed by David Roberts, prepared by Mr Ballentine
NT27SE 481 2558 7390

Designs also submitted by David Cousin, ?McGibbon & Ross
George Heriot by Peter Slater

REFERENCE - National Archives of Scotland

J M W Turner 1775-1851
Monument to the Memory of Sir Walter Scott
Abbotsford Appeal
Turner agrees to serve on the committee of the Abbotsford Appeal particularly as he has a 'personal regard created by my having been to Abbotsford'.
1832 GD 157/2038/5

Site of the Monument to Sir Walter Scott
'Abbotsford itself, is, in my opinion, the best and only architectural monument which can with propriety belong to that part of the country'.
1832 GD 157/2023/13

1843-1845
Few letters relating to the monument to Sir Walter Scott, Edinburgh
(Sir Thomas Dick Lauder and Lord Melville).
GD 224/511/9

National Library of Scotland
MS 15974 Note of subscription etc
MS 1631 ff 29-39 "Report on the Proc of the Sub-committee appointed 28 Nov 1833, to procure designs for the Monument to Sir Walter Scott"

The Times, 2 August 1991 - article describes murals on timber hoarding surrounding monument (missing at time of upgrade - 16.5.1997)

Kindred Spirits in Scotland: Turner & Scott by G E Finley
The Connoisseur August 1973 - text and illustrations - (missing at time of upgrade - 16.5.1997)


NMRS Print Room/Rare Books No 33
A Eddington Edinburgh and The Lothians 1904
Opposite p19 Photograph of Princes Street, showing Scott Monument, 'Princes Street, Edinburgh (Looking West)' 'Photo by A.A. Inglis'
p22 Photograph - in text - of Scott Monument 'Scott Monument, Princes Street' 'Pike & Co' 'Photo by Marshall Wane & Co'

Article George Kemp and his Monument RIAS Quarterly 1929 No 29 p. 1
Article The Scott Monument and its Architect Architectural Review Pamphlet July 1944 p27
The Scott Monument Guide 1949 - text and photographs D5/E(P)
NLS Fettercairn Papers, Mss Acc, 4796 Box 57 - letter concerning subscription for/and building of monument
J G Dunbar Building Chronicle Vol 2 p139 Dec 1st 1856 - text

Notes and Activities Click to sort results by Event date ascending

Archaeological Notes



1835
 UNEXECUTED

Notes Other designs for the Scott Monument
Obelisk by W H Playfair 1835, to be 200 ft high on base of 44ft. Designed monument to go in 9 different places

Further details

1835 to 1844
 DESIGN

Further details

1835
 UNEXECUTED

Notes Rickman & Mussey 1835 - not executed

Further details

1840 to 1844
 CONSTRUCTION

Notes Erected 1840 - 1844 at a cost of nearly 16,000 [pounds] after designs by George M Kemp. The white marble statue of Scott is by Sir John Steell and was place in position in 1846.
Stained glass designed by David Roberts, prepared by Mr Ballentine
NT27SE 481 2558 7390

Further details

1840 to 1844
 PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORD

Further details

1860
 PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORD

Further details

1900 to 1930
 PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORD

Further details

1950
 PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORD

Notes Photographs of Jenners Department Store taken by George Hay.

Further details

1970
 PHOTOGRAPHIC RECORD

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1985
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 1985 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

1989
 PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY

Further details

1993
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 1993 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

1 September 1994
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 1994 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

1997
 PROJECT

Notes The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (http://www.pmsa.org.uk/) set up a National Recording Project in 1997 with the aim of making a survey of public monuments and sculpture in Britain ranging from medieval monuments to the most contemporary works. Information from the Edinburgh project was added to the RCAHMS database in October 2010 and again in 2012. As a temporary measure, PMSA data on any site with multiple sculptures, such as the Scott Monument, can be found under Collection Items, then Digital Files; click on the PDF icon.
The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) Edinburgh Sculpture Project has been supported by Eastern Photocolour, Edinburgh College of Art, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, Historic Scotland, the Hope Scott Trust, The Old Edinburgh Club, the Pilgrim Trust, the RCAHMS, and the Scottish Archive Network.

Further details

3 August 2006
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 2006 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

14 August 2006
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 2006 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

14 March 2007
 AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Project 2007 RCAHMS Aerial Survey

Further details

 
Books and References

Allan, D (1831) 'Notice of two Roman sculptured heads, preserved in the front of a house at the Netherbow, Edinburgh', Archaeol Scot, vol.3
Page(s): 287-9

Bonnar, T (1892) Biographical sketch of George Meikle Kemp, architect of the Scott Monument, Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Held at RCAHMS H.2.KEM

Carrell, S (1992) 'Lang to be challenged over Scott monument [Edinburgh, Princes Street, newscutting]',
Held at RCAHMS Lo Ed.N

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Charity SC026749