The Royal Patent Gymnasium
In this quarter we now find the Patent Royal Gymnasium, one of
the most remarkable and attractive places of amusement of its kind
in Edinburgh, and few visitors leave the city without seeing it.
At considerable expense it was constructed by Mr Cox of Gorgie
House, for the purpose of affording healthful and exhilarating
recreation in the open air to great numbers at once, and in April
1865 was publicly opened. ...
Among the many remarkable contrivances
- a vast 'rotary boat' 471 ft in
circumference, seated for 600 rowers, 471 feet in circumference.
- a 'giant see-saw' named 'Chang', 100
feet long and seven feet broad., supported on an axle and capable of
containing 200 persons, alternately elevating them to a height of
fifty feet, and then sinking almost to the ground.
- a 'velocipede paddle merry-go-round' ,
160 feet in circumference, seated for 600 persons, who propel the
machine by sitting astride on the rim, and push their feet against
- a 'self-adjusting trapeze' in five
series of three each, enabling gymnasts to swing by the hands 130
feet from one trapeze to the other.
- a 'compound pendulum swing' capable of
holding about a hundred persons and kept i motion by their own
Here, also, are a vast number of
vaulting and climbing poles, rotary ladders, stilts, spring-boards,
quoits, balls, bowls, and little boats and canoes on ponds,
propelled by novel and amusing methods.
In winter the ground is prepared for
skaters on a few inches of frozen water, and when lighted up at
night by hundreds of lights, the scene, with its musical
accessories, is one of wonderful brightness, gaiety, colour and
[This sounds to be similar 'Winter Wonderland'
funfair and ice rink in Princes Street Gardens in the early 2000s.]
Here, also, is an athletic hall, with an
instructor always in attendance, and velocipedes, with the largest
training velocipede course in Scotland.
The charges of admission are very
moderate, so as to meet the wants of children as well as adults.
[Admission was 6d, or 3d for under 12s]