Edinburgh New Town, Scotland

Edinburgh New Town, Scotland

Edinburgh New Town is to the north of the old town, between the Castle and the Firth of Forth. The New Town is the largest area of Georgian architecture in Europe, complete with Georgian houses, squares and tree-lined crescents. The New Town remains largely residential today.

By the middle of the eighteenth century Edinburgh Old Town was overpopulated, congested and unhealthy. It was confined within the old city walls. Plans were made to built a new Edinburgh, on a site t just to the North on a long low ridge of land running from East to West. Lord Provost Drummond led the planning. 1752 Proposals were published outlining his plans. 1753 an Act of Parliament ratified the proposals and by 1759 the initial project of draining the North Loch (now the site of the Waverley Rail Station) began. In 1766 a competition for the best architectural scheme was held. 6 plans were put forward, and James Craig's scheme was chosen.

James Craig, made George Street the main street of his architectural plan. Today Princes Street with its shops and open outlook across the valley through Princes Street Gardens, tends to be thought of as Edinburgh's "main street". At either end of George Street are two garden squares. The buildings on the North side of Charlotte Square were designed by Robert Adam, and building began in 1795. No. 7, has been restored to how it would have been in the 1790's when it was owned by the Lamont family.

The Mound, a steep hill, is an important route from Princes Street up to the ridge of the Old Tow. It not a natural hill, but was created from two million cartloads of earth excavated during the construction of the New Town. At the foot of the Mound stand two important art galleries - the Royal Scottish Academy and the National Gallery of Scotland.

Scott Monument is a 200 ft high tribute to the author Sir Walter Scott. There is a stairway inside with 287 steps and from the top, the monument offers spectacular views over the city.

Edinburgh New Town Architecture


Edinburgh, World Heritage City