Click for Bookshop

Old College

Old College, University of Edinburgh
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Old College, University of Edinburgh

Situated on South Bridge, just south of Princes Street, the Old College of the University of Edinburgh represents a grand edifice which now houses the Law Faculty and the University's administrative offices. Once home to the entire University, it was begun in 1789 by Robert Adam (1728-92) and completed by William Playfair (1789 - 1857) between 1816 and the late 1820s. The distinctive dome was added by Sir R. Rowand Anderson in 1883, topped by John Hutchison's Golden Boy, who is said to have been modelled from Anthony Hall, the Edinburgh athlete.

Playfair's Upper Library Hall and Georgian Gallery are worthy of note, the former served as the University library for almost 140 years and the latter housing the Talbot Rice Art Gallery.

High above the street, Old College bears the inscription:


ACADEMIA JACOBI VI SCOTORUM REGIS ANNO POST CHRISTUM NATUM MDLXXXII INSTITUTA ANNOQUE MDCCLXXXIX RENOVARIA COEPTA REGNANTE GEORGIO III PRINCIPE MAGNIFICENTISSIMO URBIS EDINENSIS PRAEFECTO THOMAS ELDER ACADEMIAE PRIMARIO GULIELMO ROBERTSON ARCHITECTO ROBERT ADAM.

(The University of James VI King of Scotland founded in the Year of Our Lord 1582 in the year 1789 renovations were begun under the gracious patronage of King George III, the Provost of the City Thomas Elder, the Principal of the University William Robertson, the Architect Robert Adam).



Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better