This evening, I am posting information on Edinburgh New Town. This area is famous for its elegant ‘Georgian’ architecture.

By today’s standards, the designation ‘new’ could be deemed a misnomer. The ‘newness’ is relative to Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town (Royal Mile, etc.).

The genesis of the New Town dates from an inspired, mid 18th century decision to extend the boundaries of Edinburgh City by a parallelogram of land on the north side of what is now Princes Street Gardens. A competition for the New Town layout was one by one James Craig in 1766, then an unknown 22 year old architect. Craig’s plan consisted of single sided terraces facing over gardens to the south, Princes Street, and the north, Queen Street. In between Princes Street and Queen Street is the main axis called George Street which stretches from St. Andrew Square in the east and Charlotte Square in the west. The street names were deliberately selected to signify the union of England and Scotland with some deriving from the ruling Hanoverian dynasty and other like Thistle and Rose, representing Scotland and England respectively. It should not be forgotten that the final Jacobite uprising had been ruthlessly suppressed just twenty years previously and the naming reflected subtle propaganda to cement the union of England and Scotland under the victorious Hanoverians.

Below are provided a selection of images illustrating the distinctive architecture featuring Greco-Roman and Italian influences.

Princes Street looking east with Royal Scottish Academy (1832) in foreground.

Melville Monument (1823) and St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Scotland.

George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

St. Paul’s and St.George’s Church (1818), York Place, Edinburgh.

The Dome, formerly Physicians Hall (1775), 14 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.

St. George’s and St. Andrew’s Church (1785), George St., Edinburgh, Scotland.

Statue in George Street celebrating visit of King George IV to Scotland in 1822.

Assembly Rooms, George St. Designed 1787 with Portico 1818.

Georgian House, Charlotte Square (1796), Edinburgh.Open to the public.

Charlotte Square Architecture (1791). Designed by Robert Adam

St. George’s Church, Charlotte Square (1811). Designed by Robert Reid. Converted to West Register House in 1964.

Today, Edinburgh New Town is home to many professional practices and offers a good choice of High End shopping. Clearly, also a haunt for students of architecture.

Be Sociable, Share!