Edinburgh Events

Exhibitions, Royal Visits, etc.

This page gives the dates of some of Edinburgh's major Exhibitions and Royal Visits.


Edinburgh has hosted many exhibitions, including some major International Exhibitions in the 19th century, some with photographic sections.

Exhibitions were popular subjects for photographs and postcards.   Marshall Wane and other Edinburgh photographers recorded these exhibitions.

Royal Visits

Royal Review visits were made to Edinburgh in the 19th Century and early 20th Century to review the troops in Holyrood Park. 

These visits were photographed by several Edinburgh photographers, but some of the results were disappointing, probably due to the poor weather and the rush to produce photographs and postcards for sale in a short timescale.

Other Royal Visits to Edinburgh, in the early 20th Century followed the Coronations of:

-   King Edward VII: 1903
-   King George V:   1911
-   King George VI:  1937

The streets were decorated, and postcards of these visits were produced.


Calton Hill Sculptures

1825-1852  -  Sculpture Exhibition on Calton Hill

The Lanarkshire sculptor, Robert Forrest (1790-1852) displayed his work in the open air on Calton Hill from 1825 until his death.

At least two of his exhibits were photographed by the early Edinburgh photographer, Thomas Begbie.


Board of Trade Exhibitions

These were designated 'International Exhibitions'. 

1882  -  International Fisheries Exhibition

This exhibition was held at Waverley Market in Central Edinburgh beside Waverley Station.  This was a venue for many exhibitions until it was redeveloped as a shopping centre in the late 20th Century.

1884  -  International Exhibition of Forestries & Wood Craft

This exhibition was held at Donaldson's Hospital,  later to become Donaldson's School for the Deaf, but now [2003] sold to a developer to be converted into residential apartments.

The site is about a mile from the West End of Princes Street, on the road to the west beyond Haymarket.

1886  -  International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry

   Central Hall at the Edinburgh !886 Exhibition

This exhibition was held at the Meadows and included a reconstruction buildings in Old Edinburgh.  Please click on the image below to see a selection of views from this exhibition, photographed by Marshall Wane

'Old Edinburgh' exhibit at the International Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1886   -  by Marshall Wane  -  'Old Edinburgh' exhibit at the International Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1886   -  by Marshall Wane  -  Page 8  -  Picture with Surround

Several of the items from the exhibition are still to be found around Edinburgh, including the Jawbone Arch at the Meadows, the  Brass Founders pillar at  Nicolson Square and the Canon on Calton Hill.

Please click here for more details of the 1886 Exhibition

1888  -  [No Edinburgh Exhibition]: 

International Exhibitions had been held in Edinburgh every two years, but now it was Glasgow's turn to host the International Exhibition of Science, Art & Industry

1890 -  International Exhibition of Science, Art & Industry

This exhibition marked the opening of the Forth Rail Bridge in 1889

The exhibition was held at Meggetland, to the west of Central Edinburgh, in a rather bleak area between Edinburgh University and the Merchant's Company.

There was a good horse-tram route from the City Centre, but the visitors found the journey to be tiresome.

The exhibition lost money and was the last International Exhibition that Edinburgh ever ran.

When? - International Exhibition of Electrical Engineering and
General Inventions

With acknowledgement to Stanley Hunter  for providing some of the details above, and to the City Art Centre for details of the 18886 Exhibition exhibits.


Photographic Convention

of the

United Kingdom


Photograph of delegates to the Photographic Convention of the United Kingdom held in Dublin in 1894  

The Photogrpahic Convention of the United Kingdom met in a different location each year.  In 1892, they met in Edinburgh.


Edinburgh Industrial Exhibition



Can you tell me anything about this exhibition?

- Where and when was it held?

-  How large was the exhibition

-  Did it have a large photographic section?

If you can answer these questions or any other questions or tell me anything else about the exhibition, please email me.    Thank you.

Photography Medals

Thank you to David Likar, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia for allowing me to reproduce these medals awarded for photography at the Edinburgh Industrial Exhibition 1901:

Gold Medal

 Gold Medal awarded for photography to D L Monair at the Edinburgh Industrial Exhibition 1901

Silver Medal

    Silver Medal awarded for photography to R Thomson at the Edinburgh Industrial Exhibition 1901     The back of a Silver Medal awarded for photography to R Thomson at the Edinburgh Industrial Exhibition 1901


Royal Visit

King Edward VII

close to the start of his reign


Post cards of this event were produced by:
-  W & AK Johnston
-  WR&S Reliable Series
-  etc.


Royal Review

King Edward VII

18 September 1905

Postcard published by John R Russel of Edinburgh (JRRE)  -  Royal Scottish Volunteer Review  -  1905 


Post Cards - The Royal Review on 18th September 1905 - James Patrick

James Patrick

Postcard  -  M Wane & Co  - Spectators at the Royla Review in Holyrood Park  -  18 September 1905

Marshall Wane

Post cards of the Royal Review were  were produced by several photographers, all keen to have their postcards on sale as soon as possible following the event.  I have seen postcards of the Royal Review in the following series:

-  Albany Series
-  Castle Series
Durie Brown
-  The Mezzotint Co
JR Russell
Marshall Wane

-  etc.


Scottish National Exhibition


Post Card - Scottish National Exhibition, Edinburgh 1908 - William Thyne

A Valentine Postcard of the Palace of Industries at the Scottish National Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1908

Post Card  -  International Exhibition  -  WR&S Reliable Service

Saughton Park - 1908

Edinburgh originally intended to hold an International Exhibition to mark the bi-centenary of the Union of Scotland & England in 1907 but Dublin had already organised an International Exhibition that year.

So Edinburgh, instead, held its Scottish National Exhibition.  It opened on  1 May 1908 at Saughton Park.

The architect of the 1908 Exhibition in Edinburgh went on to design the 1911 Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry in Kelvingrove Park



Exhibits moved to Portobello

When the exhibition closed, its 'Figure of Eight' Railway was dismantled and re-erected on a site at Portobello beside the Firth of Forth. 

Some of the animals  and the other buildings also moved to Portobello when the 1908 Exhibition closed.  This provided Portobello with a small zoo at the funfair and an indoor skating rink.

The 1908 Exhibition included a Senegalese village.  Its inhabitants were unable to stay in Edinburgh following the exhibition.  However a Somali village was created in Portobello.

With acknowledgement to Stanley Hunter for some of the details above.


Royal Visit

King George V

close to the start of his reign


Many postcards were produced showing the progress of King George V through Edinburgh during this visit.


Photographic Exhibitions

Edinburgh      Britain

Other Exhibitions:

Edinburgh        Glasgow