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January 31
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Date Taken
Dec 15, 2013, 12:35:03 PM
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Edinburgh Street Buildings 6 by Estruda Edinburgh Street Buildings 6 by Estruda

The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It stands in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, opposite the Jenners department store on Princes Street and near to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station, which is named for one of Scott's novels.

The tower is 200 feet 6 inches (61.11 m) high, and has a series of viewing platforms reached by a series of narrow spiral staircases giving panoramic views of central Edinburgh and its surroundings. The highest platform is reached by a total of 287 steps (those who climb the steps can obtain a certificate commemorating their achievement). It is built from Binny sandstone quarried near Ecclesmachan in West Lothian. Bill Bryson has described it as looking like a "gothic rocket ship".[1]


Masons working on the Monument, photographed by Hill & Adamson in the early 1840s
The Sir Walter Scott statue designed by John Steell, located inside the Scott Monument

Following Scott's death in 1832, a competition was held to design a monument to him. An unlikely entrant went under the pseudonym "John Morvo", the name of the medieval architect of Melrose Abbey. Morvo was in fact George Meikle Kemp, forty-five-year-old joiner, draftsman, and self-taught architect. Kemp had feared his lack of architectural qualifications and reputation would disqualify him, but his design (similar to an unsuccessful one he had earlier submitted for Glasgow Cathedral) was popular with the competition's judges, and in 1838 Kemp was awarded the contract to construct the monument.

John Steell was commissioned to design a monumental statue of Scott to rest in the space between the tower's four columns. Steell's statue, made from white Carrara marble, shows Scott seated, resting from writing one of his works with a quill pen and his dog Maida by his side.

The foundation stone was laid on the 15th of August 1840. Following permission by an Act of Parliament (the Monument to Sir Walter Scott Act 1841 (4 & 5 Vict.) C A P. XV.), construction began in 1841 and ran for nearly four years. The tower was completed in the autumn of 1844, with Kemp's son placing the finial in August of the year. The total cost was £16,154/7/11.[2] When the monument was inaugurated on the 15th of August 1846, George Meikle Kemp himself was absent; walking home from the site on the foggy evening of the 6th of March 1844, Kemp had fallen into the Union Canal and drowned.

Modern administration[edit]

In the early 1990s it was proposed that the stonework should be cleaned. There were views for and against cleaning and a scientific/geological investigation, including cleaning trials on samples of stone, was carried out. It was decided not to clean the stone due to the damage it would sustain. A restoration programme was undertaken involving replacing old repairs and damaged areas with Binny stone for which purpose the original quarry was re-opened.[3] The fresh stonework contrasts with the smoke-darkened original.

The overall cost of the restoration was £2.36 million and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.[2]

The monument is now administered by the Culture and Sport division of the City of Edinburgh Council. (See External Links for visitor information

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allison731 Apr 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats, you got :iconiheartitplz:  WOW Badge for your creation in :iconwhispermewish: group.
This is reward for all works which have these characteristics: 
:star: High Quality 
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:star: Surely deserve one big *Wow* :omfg:  from everyone :#1: :community:

You can find your art in Badge-WOW group folder…  and in Apr 2014. - WOW Badge Winners journal.
Your work has a chance to enter in our Gold Star Championship finale too where you can get nice prizes from us and gather more fame for yourself. ;) Good luck. :iconcool-smileplz:
:wow: impressive! it remonds me an old album cover from a french band called Magma :)…
TheTweedleTwins Feb 7, 2014  Student Traditional Artist

This angle is wonderful.



AngelusNoir Feb 6, 2014   General Artist
Great angle, beautiful monument-and as a longtime admirer of Scott and gothic architecture - I found the links very interesting!
thank you very much , and I am really pleased you enjoyed the links (that made my day as its not just the image its the info that goes with it too ,thank you)
Great picture! So atmospheric with the grey stone and the lowering clouds. Thanks for sharing.
vanwaglajam Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
This is an amazing photo! I love the perspective and the colors.
Many thanks ..
Lelu-99 Jan 31, 2014  Student Photographer
Totally amazing.

thank you very much ..
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