Climb the steps and short path to the top of Calton Hill from Waterloo Place and you will see views of Scotland for up to 100 miles on a clear day. To the east, west and north you can see the River Forth and the famous red Forth Rail Bridge and the many islands in the Firth of Forth. This includes the Bass Rock, named by David Attenborough as 'one of the 12 wildlife wonders of the world'. To the east Berwick Law, a 613-foot (187 m) volcanic hill (which is worth a climb).
Looking over to Arthur Seat and Salisbury Crags below you can see Holyrood Abbey, Holyrood Palace, Scottish Parliament Building and Our Dynamic Earth. Just over the road you can see the memorial to Robert Burns and an enormous obelisk which remembers the political martyrs of 1793, who were banished for sedition and lived the remainder of their lives in Australia. The Nelson Monument (built in 1807) in the form of an upturned telescope can be climbed by the 143 spiral stairs to the top. It is well worth the climb just for the view. Edinburgh’s National Monument referred to as "The Athens of the North" (a replica of the Parthenon), the unfinished monument is to commemorate victims of the Napoleonic Wars. The project was started in 1826 and, as you can see, is still not finished.
DAVID HUME’S TOMB ST ANDREW’S HOUSE
THE GOVERNOR’S HOUSE.
OLD JAIL WALL
The Three Tenors
Calton Hill Edinburgh
Before you climb the steps and go up the hill look to your right of the steps where there is a bronze memorial plaque to the original 3 Tenners. They were at the time the most famous Singers in the world.
The three men pictured on the bronze plaque are:
David Kennedy a world renowned Scottish tenor born in Perth 1825 and died at the age of 61.
John Wilson was a singer born in Edinburgh in 1800 and sang in front of Queen Victoria and in Covent Garden and Drury Lane he died in Quebec at age 49.
John Templeton was the greatest musical artist of his time. He travelled the world and was a tenor opera singer born in Riccarton Kilmarnock 1802 and died in his home in Hampton age 84.
Volodymyr was born circa 960, Volodymyr meaning peaceful ruler. On 11 July 978 become the “sole ruler” of the Kyiv realm.
Few names in the annals of history can compare in significance with the name of holy Equal-to-the-Apostles 'Volodymyr,
the Baptiser of Rus’, who stands forever at the onset of the foreordained spiritual destiny of the
Russian Church and the Russian Orthodox people.
Rock House Calton Hill
Rock House was originally built circa 1750, Rock House was where David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson circa 1840 had an art and photographic studio and were the first to be recognised for photography as an art form. David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson used the calotype process which was invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1840.
Rock House was were Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill lived. The Inscription on plaque reads; Rock House | The Studio of the | pioneer photographers | Robert Adamson and | David Octavius Hill | 1843 – 1847
The way up Calton Hill is from Waterloo Place opposite St Andrew’s House headquarters building of the Scottish Government. There are a short number of steps before a path which takes you around and up the Calton Hill. A few metres up the path on the right are more steps which is a quick way to the top. (If you are not fit, take the path).
THE PORTUGUESE CANNON CALTON HILL EDINBURGH
The Portuguese cannon was made in the 1400s of brass and has travelled all over the world. On the barrel can be seen the Spanish Royal Coat of Arms. In 1886 it was presented to Edinburgh and has stood on Calton Hill since 1887.
The National Monument
The National Monument was modelled upon the Parthenon in Athens one of the reasons that Edinburgh
is known as the Athens of the North. Construction started in 1826 and, due to the lack of funds, was left unfinished.
The monument has the nickname of, "Edinburgh's Disgrace", another reason Edinburgh is known as the Athens of the North is that the buildings of the new town were built of white sand stone which resembled marble
DUGALD STEWART FRSE FRS CALTON HILL
Dugald Stewart (1753 – 1828)
Dugald Stewart was a Scottish Enlightenment Philosopher and mathematician. Born in Edinburgh in 1753, educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh University and Oxford University.
He died in 1828 and is buried in the Canongate Kirk graveyard.
The Nelson Monument is dedicated to Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The foundation stone was laid on 21 October 1807 and the monument was completed in 1816.
The monument is shaped like an upside down telescope. It is linked with the One O’clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle. The ball on the mast rises every day at 5 minutes before 1p.m. (13.00hrs) not on Sunday.
THE TIME BALL CALTON HILL EDINBURGH
Professor Charles Piazzi Smyth, the second Astronomer Royal for Scotland was first to have the idea of the time ball.
He had it installed on a mast on Nelson Monument in 1853.
The Time Ball on the mast of Nelson’s monument was originally a visual aid for the sailors in the Leith port and the Firth of Forth to set their chronometers by. Later due to the regular bad weather in Edinburgh it was decided that an audio aid would also be required and the Time Ball was attached to a steel cable over 4000 feet long and 240 feet in the air in 1861, which was attached to a clock in the Edinburgh Castle which set the gun to fire from the half-moon battery, is still synchronised with the One O’clock Gun to this day. The ball will rise up the mast just before 13.00 hours and at one o’clock will return to the foot and the gun on the castle ramparts will be fired. Frederick James Ritchie clock maker of the One O’clock Gun stayed at 6 Brunton Place at the foot of the Calton Hill for 40 years.
Inscriptions: Above main door on the Stone tablet reads:
TO THE MEMORY OF VICE ADMIRAL HORATIO LORD VISCOUNT NELSON, AND OF THE GREAT VICTORY OF TRAFALGAR | TOO DEARLY PURCHASED WITH HIS BLOOD | THE GRATEFUL CITIZENS OF EDINBURGH HAVE ERECTED THIS MONUMENT | NOT TO EXPRESS THEIR UNAVAILING SORROW FOR HIS DEATH | NOR YET TO CELEBRATE THE MATCHLESS GLORIES OF HIS LIFE | BUT BY HIS NOBLE EXAMPLE, TO TEACH THEIR SONS | TO EMULATE WHAT THEY ADMIRE, AND, LIKE HIM | WHEN DUTY REQUIRES IT, TO DIE FOR THEIR COUNTRY.
The First Observatory in Edinburgh was founded in 1776 on Calton Hill by Thomas Short and was demolished in 1850 and moved to Castle Hill, the building where the Camera Obscura is now. The Gothic Tower was used for several years as the site of a new observatory before the City Observatory was built in 1818. In 1822 it became the Royal Observatory and moved to Blackford Hill in 1896 where it still stands. It has been a world leader in astronomy from then to this day.
The inscription on the boundary wall translates
TO JOHN PLAYFAIR
HIS FRIENDS' PIETY
SPURRED ON BY CONSTANT LONGINGS
IN THE PLACE WHERE HE HIMSELF
HAD ONCE DEDICATED A TEMPLE
TO HIS URANIA
BORN 10TH MARCH 1748
DIED 19TH JULY 1819
THE GOTHIC TOWER JAMES CRAIG HOUSE CALTON HILL
Calton Hill Stone Cairn
The stone in the photograph below has been erected on this spot to indicate the highest point of Calton Hill. A tradition in Scotland, was to carry a stone from the foot of a hill / mountain and when at the summit. A pile of stones will for as a Cairn signifying the top. Other cairns can be found where people have placed stones in memory of others. See Muschat’s- Cairn/Arthur-Seat
The Cairn on Calton Hill is positioned when looking to the coast the Scottish Parliament building is to the right and when looking west the National Monument stand behind it. The Cairn has six plaques which are attached to stones from places of importance. The Cairn was unveiled on 10 April 1998. On top of the cairn stands a brazier including four sets of medallions, three to each side. On the top the dove of peace, centre Knight on horseback foot, a three-pronged abstract. On the other sides are; Two open hands, Bird on twig, A plaque with writing | Section of the World, Viking Ship, Ancient Celtic Cross. | Nuclear Family, Celtic Design, Crescent Moon with Compass
Vigil Cairn Plaque
The Cairn plaque reads: This cairn was built by the keepers of the Vigil for a Scottish Parliament. The Vigil was kept at the foot of this road. It began on the night of the 10th April 1992 as news broke of the fourth Consecutive Conservative General Election victory. It ended 1980 days later. The previous day, 11th September 1997, Scotland voted "Yes, Yes" for her own Parliament. Erected by Democracy for Scotland, 10th April 1998
Old Calton Graveyard
The larger part of the graveyard lies to the south of Waterloo Place and includes a number of interesting memorials. An enormous obelisk by Thomas Hamilton (1784 - 1858) is of the memorial to the political martyrs of 1793, who were transported to Australia because of their incitement to rebellion.
The classical monument to philosopher David Hume (1711-76) was built in 1777 by Robert Adam (1728-92) and the Emancipation Monument (1893), comprising a bronze of Abraham Lincoln with a grateful free slave, remembering the Scottish soldiers who fought in the American Civil War (1861-5). Other residents include painter David Allan (1744-96), Robert Burn (1752 - 1815), who built the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill and was the father of architect William Burn (1789 - 1870), publisher Archibald Constable (1774 - 1827) and sculptor Sir John Steel (1804-91).
OLD CALTON GRAVEYARD GATES
THE MARTYR’S OBELISK
Old Calton Graveyard
In 1793 members of the Friends of the People, a universal suffrage movement, were brought to trial and deported to Australia. They were charged with treason for attempting to correspond with the French. Their true crime in the eyes of the judges was, they wanted voting rights for all. The men became known as the Chartist Martyrs. Thomas Muir of Hunter’s Hill was their leading figure, and he, along with four others who followed him, were banished to Botany Bay in Australia on 30 August 1793. The men went on to become prosperous citizens in Australia.
THOMAS MUIR, THOMAS FYSHE PALMER, WILLIAM SKIRVING MAURICE MARCAROT and JOSEPH GERRALD.
The Obelisk memorial was erected in 1844 across from Calton Hill.
THE GOVERNOR'S HOUSE
Old Calton Graveyard
The Governor's House was built in 1817 in the centre of the picture above is a castellated structure situated next to the Old Calton Graveyard on the left. The Governor's House was in the ideal position to keep a watchful eye on the jail which was to the right of the picture. The Calton jail being just in front of the Governor’s House on Regent Road at the time the largest prison in Scotland. The site is now St Andrews House government offices. Part of the wall of the jail is still standing and can be seen far right of picture.
DAVID HUME'S TOMB OLD CALTON GRAVEYARD EDINBURGH
David Hume was born on the 26 April 1711 in Edinburgh was a Scottish philosopher and historian He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment. David Hume attended the University of Edinburgh. Hume achieved great literary fame as a historian publishing The History of England. David Hume lived from 1771 until his death in 1776 at his home in St. Andrew Square in Edinburgh's New Town. The actual site of his home is 21 St David Street. There are two thoughts on how St David Street was named 1st after King David I and the other after David Hume.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL
Old Calton Graveyard
Those interred and honoured;
Sergeant Major John McEwan, Company H 65th Regiment Illinois Infantry
William L Duff, Lt Col 2nd Illinois Regiment of Artillery
Robert Steedman, Company E 5th Regiment Maine Infantry Volunteers
James Wilkie, Company C 1st Michigan Cavalry
Robert Ferguson Company F 57th Regiment New York Infantry Volunteers
Alexander Smith Company G 66th Regiment New York Infantry Volunteers
An important part of the graveyard, beside Hume’s tomb, stands Abraham Lincoln. The memorial was erected in 1893. It depicts a standing figure of Abraham Lincoln, with a freed slave giving thanks at his feet. A bronze shield bears the old US flag, and is wreathed in thistles to the left, and cotton to the right. Two regimental flags lay furled, the battle being over. A man holds a book, indicating that he is not only free, he is also now educated. This was the first statue to an American President in any country out with the USA. It is the only statue of Lincoln in Scotland, and the only monument to the American Civil War out with the USA. The monument was erected at American expense and dedicated to a small group of Scots, only one of whom, William Duff, is buried under the monument, the rest are nearby. Lincoln felt indebted, and wished their graves to be marked. They had all fought for the Union (the North) in the American Civil War. The inscription, "To preserve the jewel of liberty in the framework of Freedom" is a quotation from the writings of Abraham Lincoln.
Archibald Constable was born in Fife Scotland in 1774. Firstly in 1788 on moving to Edinburgh he became an apprentice book seller. Starting his own business in 1795 dealing in rare books he quickly became well thought of and became publisher of the Edinburgh Review and also purchased the Scots Magazine in 1801. They certainly being two of the most popular of their time. He lived in South Leith 3 Park Place and died on 21 July 1827 age 52. He is buried in Old Calton Burial Ground Edinburgh.
John and James Playfair
James and John Playfair memorial Old Calton Burial Ground Edinburgh. John Playfair was a minister of the Church of Scotland. He was also a professor of natural philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. Furthermore he was also an Astronomer Geologist and mathematician. His brother James was a Scottish Architect. They were both uncles to William Henry Playfair who similarly to James, possibly became Scotland’s greatest Architect. Both buried in Old Calton Burial Ground.
(1784 – 1858)
Thomas Hamilton Architect and Builder from Glasgow had his main business in Edinburgh. He was certainly the leading Greek Revivalists in Scotland of Enlightenment Architecture. Most noteworthy places he was attributed to in Edinburgh are the the Royal High School, Royal College of Physicians, George IV Bridge, Dean Gallery and the Martyrs’ Obelisk all designed by Thomas Hamilton. Finally he was buried in the Old Calton Burial Ground.
Robert Burn was a very prominent builder and Architect in Edinburgh and father of William Burn also to become an architect (possibly one of the great Architects of Britain). Born in 1752 at Jessfield, North Leith. Later he was to own the estate of Jessfield North Leith. A master Mason by trade and Burgess of Edinburgh. Father of 16 children his wife erected a Gothic tomb in his honour in the Old Calton Burial Ground in 1816 where he is buried.
Daniel Stewart born in Logierait, Killin, Perthshire in 1741. As a wig-maker he served his employer for many years and on his death his employer left a sum of money to Daniel which he invested in property as a result became a wealthy merchant. He was also appointed master of the Exchequer in Edinburgh. Daniel never married. Therefore he left his money to the Merchant Company of Edinburgh to fund a Hospital (school) for orphan and destitute boys. Daniel Stewart died in 1814 and is buried in Old Calton Burial ground. Stewart’s Melville College is certainly Edinburgh’s best independent Day and Boarding School for boys aged 12 – 18 in Edinburgh.
Regent Road Edinburgh
Old Calton Jail
St Andrew’s House
Regent Road starts at the Old Calton Jail opened in 1817 and was demolished in 1930. Remains of the jail that can still be seen are the door to the death cell, which can be found in the Beehive Inn in the Grassmarket and part of the perimeter wall which is still visible. The best view of the wall is from Jeffrey Street Edinburgh just of the Royal Mile. The Building that is now on the site is St Andrew’s House (The Scottish Office) Government Building.
Old Calton Jail Wall
St Andrew’s House
Regent Road Edinburgh
The Scottish Office was opened in 1939, however the Royal opening of the building was delayed due to the start of World War II. The ceremony took place in 1940. The carved tablet above the doors of St Andrew’s House, A shield between unicorn on left and lion rampant on right. Unicorn holds a staff with the Scottish saltire flag and the lion holds a staff with English St George’s Cross. The Pillars that stand at each side of the entrance have a band carved with, Thistles of Scotland, Shamrocks of Ireland and Roses of England each of the nation’s emblems.
St Andrews House
The statues that stand high across the outside of the front building donate six industries that the Government departments look after; Agriculture, Fisheries, Education, Architecture, Health and Craft.
Old Royal High School
The Royal High School Building the site of the temporary Parliament building while the present Parliament building was under construction. The original site of the school was at Holyrood Abbey in 1128 and is said to have been the oldest school in the world. It then moved to the Blackfriars Monastery in 1578 which was at the foot of Infirmary Street, also known as High School Yards and then to Regent Road in 1829. The Royal High School is now in modern grounds in the west of Edinburgh near Cramond. The High School and the University of Edinburgh were the main places of learning and were known worldwide. The building is about to become a concert hall and Music School (Aug 2016).
Regent Road - Calton Road
Jacob’s Ladder is a short cut between the Royal Mile and Calton Hill. Jacob's Ladder is a staircase and path that leads from Calton Road at the foot of New Street up the hill to Regent Road, a direct route from the Canongate to Calton Hill. The steps are next to Burns memorial and there are further steps to the top of Calton hill on the far side of Regent Road Edinburgh.
Robert Burns Memorial
Robert Burns was born on Monday 25 January 1759 and died on Thursday 21st July 1796. The Robert Burns Memorial can be found opposite the Royal High School in Regent Road. Robert Burns died at the age of 37 and is the nation’s most famous poet. He was inspired by Robert Fergusson, at the time the royal poet. Fergusson’s statue stands outside the Canongate Kirk gates. Burn’s Memorial was built in 1831 and erected in 1839 to house a marble statue of Robert Burns. The statue is now in the National Portrait Gallery in Queen Street.
New Calton Burial Ground
New Calton Burial Ground was opened opened in 1820 due to the Old Calton Burial Ground in Waterloo Place being full. The New Calton burial ground has a watch tower at its highest point to protect the graves from grave robbers as it was a practice among a number of unsavoury characters to dig up the bodies and sell them to the medical school. There are a few notable graves one of which is the engineer Robert Stevenson grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson and builder of the lighthouses around Britain. Also the Regent Bridge in Waterloo Place, which gave access to Princes Street and the new town. Access to the new calton burial ground is from Regent Road and Calton Road near Holyrood House. There is also the last remaining original gas Light in the burial ground
Stones of Scotland
The Stones of Scotland can be found in Regent Park on the southside of Regent Road just past the entrance to New Calton Graveyard (Burial Ground) The circle of Stones represent the different areas of Scotland