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A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

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History of the

Sinclair Fountain

   Zoom in to the Sinclair Fountain at the West End of Princes Street ©

Edinburgh

 

Background

I've received some interesting comments about the Sinclair Fountain. Please see below.

1.

Barbara L Hiddleston

Dunnet, Caithness, Scotland

-  The Sinclair Fountain was in
 Princes Street  -  1859 to1926

2.

Alan Wilson

Trinity, Edinburgh

-  Moved to Queen Street

3.

Barbara L Hiddleston

Dunnet, Caithness, Scotland

-  Possibly moved to Queen Street

4.

Peter Stubbs

Edinburgh

-  The Sinclair Monument

-  The Sinclair Fountain

5.

Barbara L Hiddleston

Dunnet, Caithness, Scotland

-  The Sinclair Monument is NOT the same as the Sinclair Fountain

6.

Stuart Caie

Meadowbank, Edinburgh

-  The Sinclair Fountain is in Storage

7.

Alan Wilson

Trinity, Edinburgh

-  Stones from the Fountain

8.

Terry Cox

Swanston, Edinburgh

-  QUESTION: "Where is the Remainder of the  Sinclair Fountain now?"

9.

James Greig

Edinburgh

-  Statue at North Charlotte Street

 

Comment

1.

The Sinclair Fountain

Thank you to Barbara Hiddleston for telling me:

Princes Street  -  1859 to1926

"In the middle of this photo, used as a tramway island, is the Sinclair Fountain, erected in 1859 by Catherine Sinclair for the use of the horses that pulled the cabs, the working men and dogs.

Its fate was decided at a Tramway Sub-committee Meeting, held around 17th December, 1925.  The fountain was removed in early 1926."

Barbara L Hiddleston, Dunnet, Caithness, Scotland:  March 27, 2008

Catherine Sinclair was a novelist and philanthropist.

 

Comment

2.

The Sinclair Fountain

Thank you to Alan Wilson who wrote:

Today   -  Sinclair Monument

"Just to let you know that the Sinclair Fountain is still in existence.  It now resides at the corner of North Charlotte Street and St. Colme Street.**"

Alan Wilson, Trinity, Edinburgh, March 27, 2008

**  No that's not the fountain.  Please read the other comments below.

Peter Stubbs:  Edinburgh:  January 6, 2014

 

Comment

3.

The Sinclair Fountain

Barbara Hiddleston added:

"It's interesting that you have had someone say that Catherine Sinclair's memorial monument was moved.  It's very confusing.

1. In a 'Scotsman' article from 1st January, 1866 reports that the design by David Bruce had been chosen with the site near the 'west end of the new town'

2.  In an article written on 24th May 1899 again in the Scotsman, it is reported that in the annual report of the Council of the Cockburn Association about the proposed transfer 'to the city' of the monument erected in Miss Catherine Sinclairs memory because of vandalism by the school children (nothing   new  there then !)

3.  At the end of the inscription on the monument, it says 'The Monument was raised by some of her many friends.  The inscription, except the names and dates, was added in 1901 by her affectionate nephew Sir Tollemache Sinclair.'

4.  There is a letter written to the 'Scotsman' by a Adam Smail,  this time dated Oct 19th 1911.  In it  the writer tells about the fact that Sir Tollemache had  accepted the cost of repairing and moving it to another site.  But argued 'that its present situation seems quite suitable and in harmony with the surrounding buildings and gardens, with their fine old trees'.   But of course it  tantalizingly   does not say from where to where! "

So it is very possible that the monument was moved - but no firm evidence !

Barbara L Hiddleston, Dunnet, Caithness, Scotland:  March 27, 2008

 

Comment

4.

The Sinclair Monument

In his book, 'An Edinburgh Alphabet' (Mercat Press, Edinburgh:  1980), J F Birrel writes:

The Sinclair Monument

"At the junction of North Charlotte Street and St Colme Street is the Sinclair Monument, erected in 1859, to Catherine Sinclair, novelist and philanthropist."

The Sinclair Monument

    Postcard published by JM  -  Ladies' College, Queen Street, Edinburgh ©

This brief comment makes no mention of the statue having been moved, but the date it gives for the statue having been erected, 1859, is the same date as the Sinclair Fountain was originally erected in Princes Street.

UPDATE

In fact the date quoted above from 'An Edinburgh Alphabet' appears to be incorrect.  See 5. below

The Sinclair Fountain

Incidentally, James Grant's 'Old & New Edinburgh' (Publ. Cassell, 1890) refers to the fountain in Princes Street as having been

"erected in 1859 at the expense of Miss Catherine Sinclair."

Peter Stubbs:  March 28, 2008

 

Comment

5.

The Sinclair Fountain and The Sinclair Monument

Barbara Hiddleston investigated further, then wrote:

"I've now discovered that the fountain was NOT moved from the West End of Princes Street to to the junction of North Charlotte and St. Colme Street."

The Sinclair Fountain

Princes Street

"On May 16, 1950, Maria Steuart wrote to 'The Scotsman' newspaper:

 'A year ago a question was asked about the Sinclair Fountain.  Somehow or other, people got the idea it was the monument to her memory in the corner of St. Colme Street. 

Anyhow, nothing was done about it and the fountain has never been replaced.  I believe it was last seen in a stone-mason's yard' 

The Sinclair Monument

St Colme Street

"The monument to Catherine Sinclair that stands at the corner of Queen Street and St Colme Street is some 60 feet high.  This wasn't erected until after her death in 1864.

The following notes are  based on a report in 'The Scotsman' newspaper of January 1, 1866:

'Plans by David Bryce to erect this monument have been put into the Council  Chambers.  John Rhind executed the monument between 1866 and 1868. 

The Sinclair Monument looks like a pillar from the Scott Monument, very gothic with lots of pinnacles, in the Scottish Baronial style.'

Written on the base of the Sinclair Monument is:

'Catherine Sinclair
b. 17 April 1800, died 6th August 1864.

She was the friend of all children and through her book ‘Holiday House’ speaks to them still. Beside success through her books many and popular, she endeared herself first in her philanthropic work.

Her Volunteer Brigade for the boys of Leith was the first of its kind. She initiated cooking depots for working men and erected the first drinking fountain in Edinburgh. Her hall for lectures and her work amongst the cabmen endeared her name to different sections of her fellow citizens.

The Monument was raised by some of her many friends.  The inscription, except the name and dates, was added in 1901 by her affectionate nephew Sir Tollemache Sinclair."

Barbara L Hiddleston, Dunnet, Caithness, Scotland:  March 27, 2008

Comment

6.

The Sinclair Fountain -  In Storage

Thank you to Stuart Caie for telling me about what he had read in one of Edinburgh Council's documents

Stuart wrote:

"I read this today in the council's catalogue of monuments:

'The fountain was taken down and put in store.  [This presumably refers to its removal from Princes Street in 1926.]

Since then, no alternative site has been found and the fountain languishes in the C.E.D.C. store at Bonnington Road.

It has been dismantled and split into pieces and is no longer really recognisable as a fountain.'

The entry is dated December 11, 1978."

Stuart Caie, Meadowbank, Edinburgh:  June 11, 2008

 

Comment

7.

The Sinclair Fountain

Thank you to Alan Wilson, Trinity, Edinburgh, who wrote:

Stones from the Fountain

"I read the recent updates on the Sinclair Fountain, and the realisation that this was a completely different structure to the Sinclair Memorial in North Charlotte Street.

This jogged my memory. A few years back I remember reading about the remains of a fountain being incorporated into a feature by the cycle path at Steadfastgate. In 'Edinburgh Curiosities 2'  by James U. Thomson.

James wrote:

'The council premises at Stanwell Street were known to hold a number of ornamental stones which had been accumulated over the years, and a decision was taken to identify the stones and compile an inventory.

In the course of this work a stone was discovered bearing the inscriptions:

WATER IS NOT FOR MAN ALONE:
A BLESSING (UP)ON THE GIVER:
DRINK AND BE THANKFUL.

Enough to identify the missing Catherine Sinclair drinking fountain

More than sixty years have passed since the well was removed, and it has had several 'homes', but once more what has survived is on public display and can be seen on the cycleway / walkway beside Gosford Place, Leith.

It was placed there in 1983, at the section named Steadfastgate, to mark the centenary of the Boys' Brigade.'

I walked along yesterday morning at took the attached photographs."

Alan Wilson, Trinity, Edinburgh:  June 16, 2008

These are the photos that Alan took of the stones from the Sinclair Fountain, now installed beside the cycle path at Steadfastgate:

Stones from the Sinclair Fountain, installed at Steadfastgate, beside Gosford Place, Bonnington, Edinburgh ©    Stones from the Sinclair Fountain, installed at Steadfastgate, beside Gosford Place, Bonnington, Edinburgh ©    Stones from the Sinclair Fountain, installed at Steadfastgate, beside Gosford Place, Bonnington, Edinburgh ©

 

Comment

8.

Terry Cox

Swanston, Edinburgh

Terry Cox wrote:

Question

Where is the Remainder of the
Sinclair Fountain now?

"I know that the top part of the Sinclair fountain that once stood at the West End of Princes Street is now at Steadfastgate on the Water of Leith".    (Yes.  See photos in 7 above.)

"Does anyone know what happened to the rest of it?  Was it just 'lost'?"

Terry Cox, Swanston, Edinburgh:  January 12, 2011

Reply to Terry?

If you can help to answer Terry's question, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 16, 2011

 

Comment

9.

James Greig

Edinburgh

Thank you to James Greig for sending me his message below, together with a photo of the tribute statue to Catherine Sinclair at North Charlotte Street, Edinburgh.

James sent this message to me after reading the comments from Alan Wilson on a different page about the the Sinclair Fountain, so he was only aware of the first two messages above.

The other six messages above help to give a fuller story about the Sinclair Fountain.  They confirm James' comments below that the statue at that once stood near the West End of Princes Street.

James wrote:

Catherine Sinclair

Statue at North Charlotte Street

"Alan Wilson, in his Comment 2 above, mentions that the Sinclair Water Fountain still exists and is at the corner of North Charlotte Street and St. Colme Street, but that' is incorrect.

The monument at North Charlotte Street is, in fact, a tribute statue to Catherine Sinclair and not the original water fountain that once stood near the West End of Princes Street.

Here is an image of the statue that Alan refers to.  You can see the difference between the two.

Tribute Statue to Catherine Sinclair

Tribute Fountain to Catherine Sinclair - at the corner of North Charlotte Street and St Colme Street

Thank you to James Greig, Edinburgh for sending a copy of this photo to me.

©  Kim Traynor.  Thank you to Kim for publishing this photo on this Wikipedia page under a Creative Commons license that allows me to reproduce it here.

I've cropped the image from Wikipedia and adjusted its contrast and colours.

 

 

Sinclair Fountain  -  Thumbnail Images

Edinburgh

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere     Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks