Edinburgh Today

Outlook Tower

The Outlook Tower is near the top of the Royal Mile close to Edinburgh Castle Esplanade. .

   Map of the Royal Mile © 


19th Century

The Camera Obscura building was a tenement house until Maria Short purchased it in 1853, adding two floors and the Camera Obscura and calling it ‘Short’s Observatory, Museum of Science and Art’. 

The building was refurbished in 1892 by Sir Patrick Geddes, who also drew up plans for alterations to the nearby Ramsay Garden and for Edinburgh zoo.

Ramsay Garden

   Ramsay Garden as seen from Princes Street, with the flags of the Edinburgh Tattoo on the castle esplanade in the background. ©

21st Century

Today, the building still houses Edinburgh's Camera Obscura, together and a number of photographic exhibitions.

   The Camera Obscura at the top of the Royal Mile ©

Proposed Restoration

The Camera Obscura building is well maintained, but the building next door, on Ramsay Lane, the former Ragged School of Dr Guthrie from 1848 has become derelict on its first and second floors.

In December 2004, the owner of the Camera Obscura announced well-advanced plans for a £1.5 million renovation, proposing to bring back the derelict Ragged School building into use and also:

-  add a new glass observation lift.

-  open the top two floors as exhibition space.


Edinburgh Evening News 3 December 2004, p.21 AND
 information from Andrew Johnson, Manager of the Camera Obscura [January 2005]



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