Looking across Waverley Valley to
When was this photo taken?
Reproduced with acknowledgement to National Museums Scotland.
Photographer: James Good Tunny
This view looks across the
railway in Waverley Valley towards Shakespeare Square.
Shakespeare Square is the
block of old buildings close to the railway, centre-left, that were
demolished to enable the General Post Office to be built on the corner of
Waterloo Place and North Bridge.
Register House at the East End
of Princes Street can be seen on the extreme left of this photo.
The arch taking Calton Road
under Waterloo Place can be seen on the right of the picture
Date of the Photo
This photo has been provided
by National Museums Scotland. It was taken by
James Good Tunny who had studios in
Edinburgh from around 1852.
National Museums Scotland are
keen to discover the date of this photo, as accurately as possible.
There may be several clues as to the date in the photo.
The thumbnail images below are
links two larger copies of this photo. They may be helpful in
providing more details to be examined.
Please email me if you can help to date this photo.
Thank you. - Peter Stubbs
Photo - sepia
- black and white
may need to scroll across the screen
and down to view this one
John J Hadden
Thank you to John Hadden who
wrote, telling me that this is a small area of the city that has
interested him in the past, since he discovered that his
great-grandfather, Thomas Wallace, was born there in 1855.
Duke of Wellington Statue
"The Duke of Wellington's statue is visible in
front of Register House. I understand that the statue was erected in
Streets, Walls and Railway
"The layout of the streets, walls and railway
lines seem a very close match to the
Edinburgh street plan (1849-53) on the National Libraries web site.
Even some of the smaller sheds and the railway
turntable, can be recognised on the plan."
"Shakespeare Square was known for being a
place with several taverns and hotels, as well as the theatre. It
had a bit of a reputation for being 'lively'.
One building is clearly identified as Paton's
Hotel. However on the above street plan this building is identified
as "Red Lion Hotel".
The Edinburgh Gazette includes an item dated
12th April 1850 that refers to: 'Mr Alexander Paton, Wine and Spirit
Merchant, Shakespeare Square, Edinburgh'.
If this is the same Paton as in the hotel
name, then he may have been in business in Shakespeare Square in 1850 then
taken over the 'Red Lion' at a later date."
"I was wondering if there could be a
particular reason why Tunny took this particular view at this time.
I wonder if it was perhaps related to the announcement to build the GPO,
and this may have been a commission to capture an image of an area.
Checking in the Edinburgh Gazette, the
announcement of the intention to compulsory purchase and demolish these
buildings, then build the new GPO was dated 12th November 1857."
"Something else that doesn't help date things,
but may be of interest, is that the building at the top right was the old
John J Hadden, New
Town, Edinburgh: June 2, 2008
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Thank you to Alasdair Mckay
"In regard to the dating of the photograph at
the East End of Princes Street, it may be the the late 1850's.
The foundation stone of the G.P.O. was laid in
October 23rd. 1861. So it was prior to that."
Duke of Wellington Statue
"The Wellington statue in front of Register
House was unveiled in June 1852 and can be seen in the upper-left-hand
corner of the photograph."
"The last performance of the Theatre Royal in
Shakespeare Square was on May 25th. 1859 prior to the theatre being
Alasdair Mckay, Burlington, Ontario, Canada:: June 2, 2008