Edinburgh Photo Library
- Scott Monument

Scott Monument

The soaring, Gothic monument to the memory of Sir Walter Scott (who died in 1832) was built in Princes Street Gardens in 1840-46 to a design by George Meikle Kemp, a self-taught architect. But he never saw his ideas come to fruition - he tripped in a fog into the Union Canal in 1844 and drowned.

The sandstone came from a Lothian quarry which, as time has proved, was soft and liable to corrosion from the atmosphere in "Auld Reekie" as Edinburgh was once called. The stonework has blackened over the years and currently has a "piebald" effect from recent repairs.

The building rises 200.5 feet and has 287 steps to the top. The views from the top of the Edinburgh skyline (if you can make it up all those stairs) are tremendous. There is a statue of Scott below the arches of the monument, made of white Carrara marble. The monument is decorated with 64 statuettes, illustrating many of the characters from Scott's novels, placed there in the 1870s, some years after the monument had been completed.

See also Places to Visit - Scott Monument for more information and illustrations.

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