Early descriptions of Edinburgh


Early Descriptions of Edinburgh

St George's Church

Charlotte Square

From:  Modern Athens - Published 1829

St George's Church  -  Charlotte Square

Engraving in 'Modern Athens'  -  St George's Church in Charlotte Square

 Engraving in 'Modern Athens'  -  St George's Church, Charlotte Square

This description of St George's Church refers to the engravings above.

 Click 1 or 2 to enlarge.

St George's Church is on the west side of Charlotte Square.

St George Church

Modern Athens criticised the architecture of St George's church, at length.  Here is a little of what was written in the book:

"Had the civic authorities adhered as closely to the designs of Mr Adam in the erection of St George's Church, as in the other buildings of the Square, they would not , from a mistaken notion of economy, have erected an edifice, which, although it may be considered by a superficial observer as highly ornamental to the place where it is situated, is, when minutely and critically examined, found to be destitute of all architectural proportions, and an object of general disapprobation.

Mr Adam's design was taken partly from the west front of St Paul's Cathedral, London; but was rejected on account of the expense attending its execution, and a building, made up from the shreds and patches of his, was "put together in a cheap and thrifty manner as seceder's heart could wish"; thus destroying the unity of that gentleman's plan. 

[Modern Athens]



From:  Modern Athens - Published 1829

Further comments on the high buildings of Edinburgh's Old Town

Previous to the commencement of the seventeenth century, owing to the high price of building ground, and the habit which the inhabitants of Edinburgh had acquired of living above each other in separate floors of the same house, it had been customary to raise the buildings to a very dangerous height;

it was therefore enacted by the Scottish parliament in 1698, that no new house facing a public street should exceed five stories in altitude;  but as this law applies only to the front of a building, it not infrequently happens that from the inequality of ground, the back part consists of eight, ten, or even more floors: but it is, generally understood that if a house falls, it cannot be rebuilt to the same height.

[Modern Athens]




Early descriptions of Edinburgh




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