William Sinclair Manson

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Scottish Architecture. / Writings · 7 August 2022

Scottish Architecture. New Town.

Edinburgh Architecture | The scottish capital in streetscape panoramas

Edinburgh is best known for its built heritage which earned the city UNESCO world heritage status in 1995. This applies to the two most central areas of the city, the Old Town with Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile as well as the planned Georgian New Town north of it. The old town is the area running up castle hill from the Holyrood Palace at its foot to Edinburgh Castle on top. This complete route is now the famous Royal Mile (actually four consecutive streets), with numerous very small alleys, so called Closes, on either side of it. Being built solely on the stretching hill, the city soon became crowded and so some of the old stone buildings became very early high rises with up to ten and even more storeys.

The New Town was planned in the 18th century to find a solution for the over-crowded city. A 27 year old architect, James Craig, won the competition for the New Town and designed an ordered grid with three main streets running parallel to the Old Town, several crossroads and two main squares. The New Town is very consistent with its Georgian style buildings, only the southern main street, Princes Street, has changed its look radically, becoming Edinburgh’s main shopping street with several newer buildings.

During our visit to the scottish capital we documented numerous streets within the Old Town and New Town as well as some streetscapes from the West End and Leith areas. Here you’ll find the completed and published streetlines:

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