Please click here to see small photos of ...   The Scott Monument


The Scott Monument

Design of the Monument

Around Edinburgh  -  The Scott Monument and Sir Walter Scott

The Scott Monument is situated in Princes Street, Edinburgh.  The monument  commemorates the work of the poet, Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832).   

It  is a gothic tower,  designed by George Meikle Kemp.  The foundation stone of the Monument was laid on 15 August 1840.


   Photograph of Talbot taken by John Moffat in 1864

The Monument was photographed under construction by William Henry Fox Talbot and by Hill & Adamson.  Unfortunately, Kemp never saw it completed.  He drowned in the Union Canal on 6 March 1844.

The monument is built from light Pale Binny Sandstone from West Lothian.  In early photographs the stonework looks light compared to the surrounding buildings.  It must have been an impressive site. 

Over time, the stonework has darkened through pollution in the air.  Cleaning was considered in the 1990s, but not carried out because of the damage that might have resulted to the stonework.

Size and Cost

  The Scott Monument and an old car  -  possibly the 1920s

The Scott Monument is situated in East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, opposite South Saint David Street .  It commemorates the work of the poet, Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832).

The monument is 200ft. 6ins (61.1m) high.  It has 287 steps, and gives a good view in all directions from the top.  Engravings and paintings of views from the top of the monument have been produced by Ebsworth.

The foundation stone was laid on 15 August 1840.  The monument was completed in 1844.  It cost 16,154  7s 10d.

Bust of Sir Walter Scott

Around Edinburgh  -  Statue of Sir Walter Scott  -  A postcard by Deloitte Fenwick for Shurey's Publications

Beneath the monument, on raised steps, is a statue of Sir Walter Scott with his book and his dog, Maida.  This sculpture, by Sir John Steell is twice life-size and has been carved from a solid block of Carrara marble.


A bronze copy of the statue was made in Scott's foundry in Grove Street.  It is now in Central Park, New York, opposite the statue of Robert Burns by Steell.


Steel also designed the statue of Wellington (- known as the Iron Duke in bronze by Steell) that now stands in front of Register House.



Douglas Fraser was a prominent Member of Edinburgh Photographic Society and a regular exhibitor in the EPS International Exhibitions was also an amateur poet.  

Here is an extract from one of his poem written in Scots verse:

The Scott Monument


"A monument that makes the haill

O' Princes Street look oot o' scale

And wi' its Gothic trumpheries

As different as chalk and cheese

Sic is yon ferly o' an alter

For worshippers o' great Sir Walter"

  DJ Fraser


Click here for more Poems



EDINBURGH:   Street Views + Buildings + Around Edinburgh

BUILDINGS:   Canongate Church     Canongate Tolbooth      Castle      Free Church     GPO     Holyrood      John Knox      Maule's      Monuments    Galleries     Old Town       Royal High School      St Giles     St Mary's     Scott Monument    Schools + Hospitals     Looking down