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.


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


scotland, edinburgh, monument, hdr, folly

All images shown in this redbubble portfolio are owned by the artist, Tom Gomez and are protected under UK and International copyright laws. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any part of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. All rights reserved. My images are NOT part of the public domain.

View Full Profile


  • Smile
    Smileover 6 years ago

    fantastic capture, love the textures in the structure, wonderful colours and comp. too

  • Kimberley  x ♥ Davitt
    Kimberley x ♥...over 6 years ago

    great info and image

  • mrscarlotta
    mrscarlottaover 6 years ago

    Brilliant shot hon xx

  • Varinia   - Globalphotos
    Varinia - Gl...over 6 years ago

    Very interesting info, it’s quite an impressive structure, great HDR :))

  • Maureen Bloesch
    Maureen Bloeschover 6 years ago

    I still cant get over the color of the grass over there!

  • joak
    joakover 6 years ago

    well done tom this is great all this history well done bud

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1over 6 years ago

    fabulous architecture and capture!!

  • Sean Farragher
    Sean Farragherover 6 years ago

    fantastic ,,great info

  • Barry Norton
    Barry Nortonover 6 years ago

    good capture, interesting story

  • linda lowry
    linda lowryover 6 years ago

    Great photo, and the story really adds to it. It amazes me that I once stood on this monument, knowing not what the heck it was. It is my life’s goal to stand on it again someday, hopefully next summer—that is the plan anyway. Everyone must have a dream…

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait