Edinburgh World Heritage - Calton Hill


Calton Hill

“Of all places for a view, this Calton Hill is perhaps the best” Robert Louis Stevenson, 1889

In 1724 the town council bought Calton Hill, making it one of the first public parks in the country. The famous philosopher David Hume lobbied the council to build a walk ‘for the health and amusement of the inhabitants’, and you can still stroll along ‘Hume Walk’ to this day.

The National Monument, Charles Cockerell and William Playfair, 1822

The National Monument was modelled on the Parthenon in Athens, and was intended to commemorate Scots who had died in the Napoleonic Wars. Funds unfortunately ran out in 1829 and the building was never completed.

Look out for...

Observatory House on Calton Hill is one of the few buildings you can still see designed by James Craig, the architect who planned the first New Town.


Download the Heritage Trail (PDF | 2.3MB)


Charles McKean, Professor of Architectural History at Dundee University talks about the significance of Calton Hill and the National Monument.

Download Podcast (mp3 | 2.9MB)


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