Charlotte Square II

Chris Clark

Kirknewton, United Kingdom

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Charlotte Sqaure – Edinburgh

Taken in early January 2010 during the heavy snowfall which befell Scotland and is a very rare sight in the City of Edinburgh.

Charlotte Square is a city square in Edinburgh, Scotland, part of the New Town, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Charlotte Square was the last part of the initial phase of the New Town to be completed in 1820. Much of it was the design of Robert Adam, who died in 1792 just as building began.

Charlotte Square is located at the west end of George Street, intended to mirror St. Andrew Square in the east. Initially named St. George’s Square in James Craig’s original plan, it was renamed before completion after King George III’s Queen and first daughter, to avoid confusion with George Square, in the south of the city. The memorial in the centre of the garden commemorates Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria, and features an equestrian statue of the prince by Sir John Steell. It was unveiled by Queen Victoria herself.

For the last three weeks in August each year Charlotte Square gardens are the site of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Nos. 5, 6 and 7 are now owned by the National Trust for Scotland along with No. 28 which are their new headquarters. No. 5 was the home of John Crichton-Stuart, the 4th Marquess of Bute, who bought it in 1903 and gave it to the Trust on his death. It was the Trust headquarters from 1949 to 2000. Bute did much to promote the preservation of the Square. It is now the headquarters of the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust. No.6, Bute House is the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland.

No. 7 is the Georgian House, internally restored by the Trust in 1975 to its original state and open to the public. The upper floor was formerly the official residence of the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. West Register House, formerly St. George’s Church, forms the centre of the west side.

James Syme, the surgeon, lived at No.9 and his son-in-law Joseph Lister, lived there from 1870-1877. No. 13 was home to Sir William Fettes and No. 14 the house of Whig lawyer, historian and conservationist Lord Cockburn. Viscount Haldane, was born at No.17 and another soldier, Field Marshal Earl Haig, was born at No. 24. Robert Reid designed No. 44 as his own home. Pioneer of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, was born in nearby South Charlotte Street. Number 38 is now home to The Roxburghe Hotel and has recently undertaken the first steps of a £7.5 million refurbishment.

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