Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.

WEST PRINCES STREET GARDENS, ALLAN RAMSAY MONUMENTLB27870

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Group Category Details
100000019 - see notes
Date Added
14/12/1970
Supplementary Information Updated
15/10/2001
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 25330 73833
Coordinates
325330, 673833

Description

Sir John Steell, 1850 and David Bryce, 1865. Pedestrian figure of Allan Ramsay in 18th century costume, with cape, and holding book; Carrara marble, by Steell, on square-plan corniced ashlar pedestal with Corinthian colonnettes to corners and high relief sculpted profile portraits (see Notes) to each elevation. Square-plan Baronial substructure by Bryce: stugged sandstone with polished dressings; timber boarded door with decorative iron hinges to W elevation in roll-moulded surround with rope hoodmould; stop-chamfered corners; corbelled out to corners above (carved masks to corbels); rope moulding and cannon spouts to corbel course; balustrade with semicircular corners to roof.

Statement of Special Interest

The A Group comprises The Allan Ramsay Monument, The Cottage, Dr Guthrie's Monument, The Police Box, The Ross Fountain, The Royal Scots Greys Monument, The Royal Scots Memorial, The Scottish American Memorial, The Shelters, The Simpson Monument, The Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial and The Statuary Group, all in West Princes Street Gardens. The Allan Ramsay Monument was erected by Lord Murray of Henderland, in memory of his great uncle, the poet Allan Ramsay (father of the painter), author of the GENTLE SHEPHERD. The likeness is based on a pastel portrait which the poet's son drew as a boy, and which was engraved and used as a frontispiece to several editions of the poet's work, including the TEA-TABLE MISCELLANY. Joe Rock illustrates a photograph of a maquette by Steell for the statue. Portraits on the pedestal depict Lord Murray, his father General Ramsay, his wife, and his 2 daughters, Lady Campbell and Mrs Malcolm. Lord Murray inherited Ramsay Lodge, the villa built on Castlehill by Allan Ramsay in 1734 (now incorporated in Ramsay Garden) in 1845. He originally intended to place the statue on a terrace, designed by Robert Billings, in front of the Lodge. In 1860, however, the newly completed terrace collapsed, and the statue was erected in the NE corner of Princes Street Gardens. West Princes Street Gardens were laid out by James Skene for the Princes Street proprietors circa 1820. In 1866 John Dick Peddie produced a plan, shown in 2 water-colours entitled 'the Athens of the North,' one looking NE across E Princes Street Gardens, showing Calton Hill with a completed National Monument/Parthenon, and the other, looking W across W Princes Street Gardens, showing the Gardens as a 'Walhalla' with a broad terrace with monuments and mausolea, fountains and a winter garden. The gardens were acquired by the city in 1876 and further landscaped by Robert Morham. The mechanism for the Floral Clock (summer only) to the E of the Ramsay Monument is contained in the pedestal of the Monument. It was the first Floral Clock in the world (1903), and was the brain-child of the superintendent of the Gardens, John McHattie. Initially it used the redundant mechanism from the clock tower of Elie. Subsequently a mechanism was manufactured by James Ritchie and sons, clockmakers in Edinburgh. The clock was electrified in 1973.

References

Bibliography

NMRS EDD/479/1. Grant OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH (1885) vol ii pp 98-99, 128 and 130 (ill). SCOTSMAN 11th June 1903. Gunnis DICTIONARY OF BRITISH SCULPTORS 1660-1851. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1984) p 316. Pearson (ed) VIRTUE AND VISION - SCULPTURE AND SCOTLAND 1550-1990 (1991) p75. Joe Rock THOMAS BEGBIE'S EDINBURGH (1992) fig 15.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

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If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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Printed: 18/07/2019 14:05