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Edinburgh's Folly

Tom Gomez

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

The National Monument, Edinburgh, is Scotland’s memorial to those who died in the Napoleonic Wars.

The monument is on the top of Calton Hill, just to the east of central Edinburgh. It was designed by Charles Robert Cockerell and his collaborator William Henry Playfair and is modelled upon the Parthenon in Athens. Construction started in 1822.

The monument is famous for being only partially complete. According to documentary evidence, the monument was intended to be a full replica of the Parthenon, but money ran out midway through construction and only one side of the structure was completed. The city of Glasgow reportedly offered to cover the costs but Edinburgh was too proud to accept the other city’s charity. As a result, the monument is often given the nickname Edinburgh’s Disgrace or Edinburgh’s Folly.

However, some of the surviving plans for the monument by Cockerell and Playfair depict only the existing twelve columns, suggesting that the monument never reached an advanced stage of planning due to the lack of funds and political will.

Subsequent attempts to “complete” the National Monument have never borne fruit for reasons of either cost or lack of local enthusiasm. A proposal in 2004 was met with a very mixed reception.

Three bracketed JPGs converted to HDR in Photomatix.

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Related shots can be found at: Edinburgh and Lowland Scotland or you can look at all my HDR shots.

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