Standing opposite Edinburgh’s famous Jenners department store and looking out across to Princes Street Gardens, visitors to Edinburgh cannot fail to miss the impressive Victorian designed Scott Monument located at the top of the Gardens. Visitors to the monument can climb the 287 steps, (yes we counted) to the top and enjoy clear views across Edinburgh and beyond. Open from April through to September the Scott Monument is a popular tourist attraction.
A notable part of Edinburgh city’s famous skyline, The Scott Monument, stands in memory of one of Scotland’s most notable writers, Sir Walter Scott. The 61.11 metre Victorian Gothic design is the largest monument to a writer in the world and it began creation in 1840.
Confusion has often surrounded the monument as to it’s ‘dirty’ appearance and it has received mixed reviews from visitors. Indeed its 1990′s refurbishment was halted for this reason. It was intended to undergo a full clean up but arguments were considered that the sandstone used in design, Binny Sandstone, is thought to have been chosen as it attracts dirt quickly to give the monument an ‘aged’ effect. In Victorian Britain this was a common design feature, though perhaps the smoke and soot from industrious Britain was not overly considered at the time.
Self taught architect George Meikle Kemp was appointed to construct the monument and Aberdeen born sculptor John Steell was commissioned for the design of the marble statue of Sir Walter Scott. John Steell’s works are dotted around Edinburgh. Visitors to the city can enjoy his further works including The Duke of Wellington, known locally as ‘The Iron Duke’ opposite the Balmoral Hotel, the Artist Allan Ramsey on The Mound and The Prince Consort in Charlotte Square. John Steell was appointed Sculptor to Queen Victoria in 1898. and shortly after the unveiling of his statue of Queen Victoria’s beloved Prince Albert, he received a knighthood.
Full details of the Scott Monument can be found here on the The City of Edinburgh’s website and with thanks to www.australiaphotos.co.uk