Scott Monument

Scott Monument, Princes Street, Edinburgh
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Scott Monument, Princes Street, Edinburgh

The Scott Monument was built between 1840 and 1846 as a memorial to the writer Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832). Designed by architect George Kemp (1795 - 1844), who won a competition with his design, its Gothic cathedral-like presence dominates the south side of Edinburgh's Princes Street, rising to 61.1m (200½ feet) in height. As such, it is the largest statue erected to the memory of an author anywhere in the world. The statue of Scott in Italian Carrara marble at its centre is by Sir John Steell (1804-91). Also included are representations of sixteen Scottish poets, writers and monarchs, together with sixty-four figures from Scott's novels created by a host of Scottish sculptors and added in three phases, the last long after the monument was opened. Thirty-two niches intended to contain further statues remain empty. The sandstone used in the construction came from Binny Quarry at Uphall (West Lothian), which was especially re-opened from a major restoration of the monument in 1998/9. The original cost of the monument was a sizeable £16,154, raised by public subscription, while the restoration cost £2.36 million.

The monument is maintained by the City of Edinburgh Council, and the public can climb the 287 steps to the top of the monument for spectacular views of the city.

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