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Scott Monument

Princes Street

Following the death of Sir Walter Scott on 21st september 1832 there was a widespread feeling in Edinburgh that a monument should be erected to his memory.

The initial decision to proceed was taken at a public meeting on 5th October, and a competition was declared in order to select a design for the monument. The competition was won by George Miekle Kemp.

Kemp was a working joiner who had attained recognition as an accomplished draughtsman, especially through his drawings of Melrose Abbey and Glasgow Cathederal. In 1838 Kemp was awarded the contract to build the monument.

At the same time John Steell, later Sir John and H.M. Sculptor for Scotland, had been declared winner of a competition to select the sculptor of the statue of Sir Walter Scott to be included in the monument.

In the autumn of 1844 the last stone was placed in the pinnacle by Kemp's young son, Thomas. The monument including the statue was officially inaugurated on 15th August 1846.

The Scott Monument is 200 ft. 6in high and 55ft. square at the base; the highest gallery is reached by climbing a total of 287 steps. It is constructed of Binnie stone, taken from shale workings near Linlithgow; this stone contains natural oils which are said to aid its preservation.

Sir John Steell's statue of Sir Walter Scott is executed in Carrara marble and is more than double life-size.

The monument has 64 niches, in each of which, in accordance with the original design, a statuette has been placed. Several of these were contributed at the time of the original inauguration, and a movement instigated by James Ballantyne in 1870 brought the total to 32.

The remainder were provided as a result of a motion placed before the town Council by Bailie Thomas Hall in 1881. All the statuettes represent characters from the works of Sir Walter Scott.

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Scott Monument Postcode for SatNav: EH2 2EJ


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