Edinburgh World Heritage - Auld Reekie

Auld Reekie

"Auld Reekie!
Wale o’ilka toun
That Scotland kens beneath the moon..."
Auld Reekie, Robert Ferguson, 1772

At the end of the 1700s the old city of Edinburgh was changing dramatically.

In 1767 a plan by architect James Craig won the competition to create a New Town and transform the city’s fortunes. The New Town would bring prosperity and grandeur to the city – for those who could afford it. In the process Auld Reekie’s way of life changed forever.

The poet Robert Fergusson captured this changing city in his writing, and his poetry gives us a unique view of city life.

More about life in Auld Reekie:


The scene as the city awakes

Edina's Roses

All visitors agreed - at times the city smelt pretty bad...


Merchants and lawyers go about their business


The Highland cadies and chairmen guide you around the city


The old city’s boisterous night life

North Bridge

Key to the success of the New Town

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