Located on Princes Street, New Town, Edinburgh, Scotland, the monument to Sir Walter Scott against a dramatic early evening June sky.
It was built during 1836-46. The architect was George Meikle Kemp (1795-1844), a joiner who entered the competition under a pseudonym to avoid prejudice; the joiner/architect sadly fell into the Union Canal in the fog and drowned before the work was completed.
The tower is 200 feet 6 inches (61.1 m) high, and has a series of viewing decks reached by a series of narrow spiral staircases giving panoramic views of central Edinburgh and its surroundings. The highest viewing deck is reached by a total of 287 steps (those who climb the steps can obtain a certificate commemorating the event). It is built from Binnie shale quarried in nearby Livingston; the oil which continues to leech from its matrix has helped to glue the notoriously filthy atmosphere of Victorian Edinburgh (then nicknamed “Auld Reekie” — old smokey) to the tower, leaving it an unintended sooty-black colour. Bill Bryson has described it as looking like a “gothic rocket ship”.
Information supplied by Wikipedia.
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