George Street, Edinburgh with Charlotte Square in distance.

This evening, I am posting information on the New Town section of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.

The New Town  is famous for its elegant, ‘Georgian’ style of architecture.

St Andrews and St George’s West Church, George Street, Edinburgh.

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.) which is a short distance away.

Royal Society, George Street, Edinburgh

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.

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

Royal Bank of Scotland, St Andrew Square.

Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.

Register House, Princes Street, Edinburgh.

West Register House, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.

New Town with Firth of Forth and Fife Coast in distance.

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