Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Director's Notes - July 2013

Monthly update from EWH Director Adam Wilkinson.

Jul 24, 2013

There be dragons out there. At long last, the restored Geddes Dragons are being returned to Wardrop’s Court off the Lawnmarket, keeping a protective watch over those who pass down the close on their way to the Writers' Museum.

We were thrilled to be able to move very swiftly indeed to support the Edinburgh Art Festival in its bid to repair and temporarily reuse the Watchtower in New Calton Burying Ground for an installation during this year’s festival. The Watchtower is a remnant from the days grave robbers, and its repair gives us the opportunity to help change attitudes to this most wonderfully situated elysian field, on the south-facing slope of Calton Hill, overlooking the Palace at Holyroodhouse and the eastern end of the Old Town, down below the mighty Salisbury Crags. It is a lovely spot and I would encourage you to visit. Our hope is that the repair will act as a catalyst for other action. The gate at the bottom of the burial ground has been locked shut for a very long time. Opening it up during the festival will provide a route from Calton Hill to the Palace into which the modern world barely intrudes.

We have finally produced the graveyards report, summarising the remarkable work Dr. Susan Buckham carried out on behalf of Edinburgh World Heritage and the World Monuments Fund, with the support of colleagues at the City of Edinburgh Council. The report, amongst other things, looks at different practices in the management of historic graveyards across the UK and wider, understanding what might be an appropriate approach to the city centre graveyards in Edinburgh (we are all too aware of the desperate plight of Warriston, but it is not currently within the boundary of the World Heritage Site, though on a rainy day one might stretch the concept to cover it). Anyone interested in assisting with the burial grounds should contact us.

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