Scottish Parliament


 Holyrood Building

    Photograph by Peter Stubbs  - Edinburgh  -  November 2002  -  View from Queen's Park towards Arthur's Seat

Parliament - 2002

under construction

A new building to house the Scottish Parliament is being created at the foot of the Cowgate, close to Holyrood Palace.

This decision was reached following consideration of sites at:

-  Leith Harbour (close to the Scottish Office Headquarters

-  The old Royal High School building beneath Calton Hill

The original cost of the building, before the final design was chosen, was estimated to be 40m.  But the estimated cost has increased dramatically, despite some of the more adventurous features of the original plan -  roofs resembling sails  -  having been removed on cost grounds.  The opening date has been delayed.

The latest estimates (January 2003) are that the building will cost 338m and will be opened in November 2003.

[Evening News  21 January 2003, p.13]

June 2003

Further increases in the cost of the Scottish Parliament building have now been announced [9 June 03]  taking the total cost to 375m.

[Evening News  6 June 2003, p.2]

August 2003

The cost of the Scottish Parliament building is now [22 August 03]  expected to be 400m.  The building is now due to be completed in July 2004, with external landscaping being completed at end-August 2004.

[The Metro  22 August 2003, p.9]

September 2004

The Scottish Parliament building is now in use, and arrangements for the opening ceremony have been announced.  See 'October 2004'.

October 2004

Formal Opening of Parliament

The formal opening of the Parliament by the Queen on 9 October is to be marked by a 1,000-strong procession down Edinburgh's Royal Mile from the High Court to the new Parliament.

The procession will be led  by military and brass bands from each region of Scotland.   The Edinburgh-born James Bond star, Sean Connery, will join the celebrations.

There will be Scottish dance, music, poetry and drama readings in Royal Mile at Parliament Square, and in the gardens of the new Parliament. 

Parliament Square will also see a re-enactment of Scotland before 1707.

Further entertainment will be provided in Our Dynamic Earth, close to the new Parliament.

[Evening News  10 September 2004, p.5]


October 2004

Photographic Competition

A photographic competition to commemorate the Opening of Parliament has been announced by Scottish National Photographic Centre Ltd.  Photographs are to be taken in the 24 hours beginning at midnight on 8 October 2004.

March 2006

Temporary Home

A few months after outstanding work on the parliament was completed, an unexpected problem arose.

During a debate in the debating chamber on 2 March, it was noticed that one of the 12ft  oak beams supporting the roof was hanging loose.

Following initial investigations, it was agreed that MSPs should move to a temporary home for their debates in the immediate future.

The next debate, on March 8,  will  be held at The Hub , near the top of the Royal Mile.  The Hub will not be available from late March onwards, so other possible venues are being considered, including:

-  The Church of Scotland Assembly Hall at The Mound, where the Scottish Parliament met for its first five years, until 2004.

-  The Edinburgh City Chambers in the Royal Mile


 - Dynamic Earth, exhibition centre, close to the new Scottish Parliament.

-   Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

- The former Royal High School beneath Calton Hill, a venue considered at one time for the new Scottish Parliament, then rejected.

Royal High School

   Photograph by Peter Stubbs  -  Edinburgh  -  23 November 2002  -   The Royal High School  -  Gallery Looking south

Edinburgh Evening News: March 7, 2006,  p.7

Edinburgh Evening News:  March 11, 2006, p.10

The Scottish Parliament was only able to meet at The Hub for two weeks at a cost of 120,000.  But the venue then became no longer available, so a new venue had to be found.

Several were considered (see above) but the parliament decided, instead, to adapt then use the top floor committee room at Holyrood.  This has been done, and it is expected that this will be the venue for further debates in the immediate future.

Edinburgh Evening News:  March 25, 2006, p.10

October 2007


Landscaping in front of the Scottish Parliament includes some shallow ponds. I found that these enhanced the site, especially in the early mornings when the buildings were reflected in the water.

 The Scottish Parliament Building  -  June 2006

However, following a number of minor accidents when people did not notice the ponds and ended up in the water, the police erected temporary safety barriers around the water.

Over the past 18 months, the Scottish Parliament has considered three separate reports on what action might be taken for the ponds.

Options being considered include:

-   barriers around the ponds

-  draining the ponds and convert them into sunken gardens

-  paving them over completely.

Discussions are ongoing.




Dave Ferguson

Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland

David Ferguson recently sent me three of his poems of growing up in Granton.

Here he gives his views on the Scottish Parliament building:


The New Hoose by the Palace

Doon by the palace there stauns a new hoose,

the cost unbelievable, they've cut the purse loose.

The folk roond the country are whingin an' girnin,

'They're bleedin' us dry an' naebody's winnin'.

The Polis need money tae help them get by

Auld pensioners, tae, reach their hauns tae the sky.

Naethin' comes back tae keep us a' happy,

'cause the hoose by the palace needs every drappie.

So whit dae wi' dae tae get a wee penny?

Just ring the new hoose tae see if they've any.

'Cause they've got the key tae that wonderful chest

It's jist fu' o' riches an must be the best.

So when ye are skint an' feelin' a bit gallous,

go roond tae the new hoose doon by the palace.



Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland:  February 12, 2012