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View from the slopes of Calton Hill to

Calton Jail

View from the slopes of Calton Hill to

Calton Jail and Edinburgh Castle

View from the slopes of Calton Hill to Calton Jail and Edinburgh Castle - c.1880

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Jan Weijers, Netherlands

 

Enlarge this Photo

    View from the slopes of Calton Hill to Calton Jail and Edinburgh Castle - c.1880 ©

 

Calton Jail

Thank you to Jan Weijers for allowing me to reproduce this photo.

Jan wrote:

Photographer and Date?

"This is an old glass photograph (positive/collodion) from Edinburgh.  It's the castle and the prison.  An expert said it was made by Thomas Begbie, but I'm not sure about that.

Perhaps you can identify the photographer and the date?"

Jan Weijers, Netherlands:  January 11, 2011

The View

Many old photos  looked down on Calton Jail from high on Calton Hill, but  this one looks down from the lower slopes, to the east of the summit. 

It is the only photo that I have seen showing the gates on the eastern side of the prison.  This may well be the sort of view that Begbie would have taken. In my experience, many of his photos were taken from positions different from those chosen by other photographers.

The Date

The bridge running through the centre of this photo is the Old North Bridge, so the photo would have certainly been taken pre-1900.  There may well be other elements in the photo that can be used to date it.

Reply for Jan

If you can suggest who the photographer might have been and/or when this photo might have been taken, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to Jan.

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:   January 11, 2011

Reply

1.

Steve Chambers

Edinburgh

Thank you to Steve Chambers for posting a helpful message in the EdinPhoto guest book, about Jan Weijers' photograph of Calton  Jail.

Steve wrote:

Thomas Begbie View  -  1863

"A view of Waverley Station, taken from Regent Road, or perhaps Jacob's Ladder, appears in the book 'Thomas Begbie's Edinburgh' (published 1992).  It is dated 'around 1863'.

Comparison with Jan's View

"It is taken using a more telephoto lens than Jan's picture.  The differences between the two views seem to be that in the one published in 'Thomas Begbie's Edinburgh:

-  Bank of Scotland building in Bank Street has not yet had new North elevation added.  (This was added  1864-70.)

Old North Bridge has not yet been widened.  (It was widened in 1873.)  In fact, some of the buildings at the south end of the bridge were demolished between the two views.

I'm uncertain as to whether or not Cockburn Street had been built when Jan's photo was taken.  (It was built 1859-64.)"

Conclusion

"Taken together, these might suggest a date of 1863-1873 for Jan's view, a view in the style of, and contemporary with Thomas Begbie."

Steve Chambers, Edinburgh:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book, January 12, 2011

 

Reply

2.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay for telling me about another photograph of Calton Jail.

Bryan wrote:

Photo

G W Wilson

"Here is another photo of Calton Jail.  This one is by George Washington Wilson and was found on the Cornell University web site.  It shows just how big the jail was."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  January 12, 2011

 

Reply

3.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Thank you to Bryan Gourlay for writing again, on the same theme as above but this time illustrating it with an old map.

Bryan wrote:

Map

OS  1843/45

"This Ordnance Survey map, surveyed in 1852, on the National Library of Scotland's web site shows just how massive the Calton Jail was.  Itís the only one that does so.

The jail was built in three sections, the middle one know as the Bridewell. It looks as if the Governor probably lived in some style."

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  January 13, 2011

Viewing the Map

Please click on the link above to see this map.  As with other maps on this NLS web site, you can hold down the space bar then use the mouse to move around the map.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 15, 2011

 

Calton Jail

Around Edinburgh

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks