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G W Wilson

Views from Princes Street


Princes Street looking to the west, by George Washington Wilson.  His photographic van is in the foreground of this picture.

  Queen Mother Library - University of Aberdeen


Princes Street Addresses

Between North St David Street
and North St Andrew Street

26-46 Princes Street

This view looking to the west towards the Scott Monument, with 26-46 Princes Street, between South St Andrew Street and South St David street on the right hand side of the picture.

Wilson's horse-drawn darkroom can be seen parked beside the pavement close to 43 Princes Street.


Old Waverley Hotel

43 Princes Street

I believe that Wilson's instantaneous photogrpahs of Princes Street in 1859 and the early 1860s would have been taken from a balcony on the first floor of Cranstoun's Temperance Hotel, The Old Waverley Hotel at 43 Princes Street.

 Princes Street - 1860

    Photogrraph of Waverley at the East End of Princes Street  -  by George Washington Wilson

The hotel was almost opposite the Scott Monument and close to the corner of Princes Street and South St David Street.

Map of nos 26 to 46 Princes Street, around 1900
  Reproduced with acknowledgement to National Library of Scotland

The plan above is part of a large plan drawn for one of the fire assurance companies around 1900.  It includes the Old Waverley Hotel (still in business under the same name) and also the Sun Fire Office and the Edinburgh Hotel, both of which appear in Wilson's 'instantaneous views'.


James Howie's Studio

45 Princes Street

In the same building as The Old Waverley Hotel was the studio of James Howie at 45 Princes Street from 1841 to 1865.

The engraving below shows a portrait session on the roof of the building, the 2nd building from the left in the engraving below.

View to the North from Scott Monument  -  Ebsworth engraving

  Reproduced by courtesy of Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services


Lennie's Optician

46 Princes Street

On the corner of the street  - the left-hand building in the foreground of the picture above -  was Lennie's shop, listed in the trade directories (1862-64) as Optician and Manufacturer of Photographic Apparatus.  The company also sold many stereo views.

Lennie's remained at this address for almost a hundred years from the 1850s.  A pair of spectacles can be seen above their entrance in the photograph below, taken after the property had been redeveloped as the Old Waverley Hotel.

This is still the Old Waverley Hotel today, thought he property beside it on the extreme right of the picture has been completely redeveloped at least twice in the 20th century, so making it impossible to repeat G W Wilson's instantaneous views of 1859-64.

It seems likely that G W Wilson would have visited the Lennie's shop whilst in Princes Street.

E Lennie's studio  -  Princes Street

  Reproduced by courtesy of Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services


More Photos

from the same location

G W Wilson appears to have swung his camera through 45 degrees to look to the south-west to take other views from the same location  -  looking across Waverley Bridge towards the Old Town of Edinburgh.

GW Wilson stereo card - Waverley Bridge and Old Town from Princes Street       GW Wilson stereo card - Waverley Bridge and Old Town from Princes Street


G W Wilson


GWW in Edinburgh

Photos and Albums

Post Cards

Photo: Burns Monument

Photo: Princes Street

Photo:  Dean Bridge

Lantern Slide

Stereo Views - List

Stereo Views - Thumbnails

GWW's Instantaneous Views:      Comparison of photos      Location

All Stereo Views:         Background        List of Publishers        Thumbnails