Edinburgh University

Design and Construction

W R & S Ltd photograph from around the early 1900s  -  South Bridge and Edinburgh University

Edinburgh University is the large domed building in the centre of this engraving.  At the far right of the engraving is the Tron kirk (or church), at the junction of the North and South Bridges and the Royal Mile.

The outside of the quadrangle, designed  by Robert Adam, was constructed first, beginning in 1789.

The inside of the quadrangle, by William Playfair, was built 1819-27.

The dome by Rowan Anderson was not designed until 1886-87. On top of the dome is a gilded sculpture of an athlete carrying the torch of learning, the work of John Hutchison.  The statue is known as 'The Golden Boy'.

The Buildings of Scotland:   Publ.  National Trust for Scotland:   ISBN 0-14-071068-X

'The Golden Boy'

Photograph by Peter Stubbs  -  Edinburgh  -  December 2002  -  Fire in the Old Town of Edinburgh  -  Gilded Balloon in the Cowgate

Thank you to Linda Moederzoom of Norfolk for emailing me, telling me:

-   Her great great uncle, Anthony Hall, was an athlete in the 1860s / 1870s.

-   In later life, he was an artists' model.

-   Anthony Hall modelled for Edinburgh University's 'Golden Boy' statue

-   He also modelled for the Burns statue in Leith.

C. M. Campbell wrote a book based on Anthony Hall published 1897 called Dielie Jock.  The book starts off with Anthony in an artist's studio in Edinburgh.

-  In the Talbot Rice Gallery (old quad) there is an oil painting of him.  It was donated by Anthony's niece Helen Mackay Hall.  It shows him wearing just a loin cloth (apparently added later for the sake of modesty).

-  Also in reception at the quad is the plaster cast model of the Golden Boy.  It is splendid.  They've put a fig leaf on that one.  


Edinburgh University is on the west side of North Bridge, almost opposite Surgeon's Hall.

The top view above looks to the north, down South Bridge which leads into North Bridge and to East End of Princes Street.

Surgeon's Hall

South Bridge

   Engraving from 'Old & New Edinburgh'  -  Surgeon's Hall

North Bridge

  Engraving in 'Old & New Edinburgh'  -  North Bridge and Calton Hill  

 Princes Street

   Princes Street  -  1859  -  GW Wilson t



Engravings from Modern Athens  -  Published 1829

Index                 View from Craigleith                View from Calton Hill

Around Edinburgh

Distant Views

Old Town

New Town





Maps for Begbie photos

Central Edin - West    Central Edin - East    Edinburgh & Leith

Maps for photos:

1850s       1950s      2000 Central Edinburgh       2000 Around Edinburgh

Maps for engravings:



Around Edinburgh