Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Director's Notes - September 2013

Monthly update from EWH Director Adam Wilkinson.

Sep 4, 2013

Excepting high winds, a community map of Edinburgh has been on display in the courtyard of our offices at Acheson House. The map tells the tale of the city as her people see it, not as guide books or history lessons tell it. The wedding dress shop that cheers up the weary commuter thinking of the happy people who go there, or the road that is difficult to cross because of traffic. The exercise of creating the community map, led by volunteer Annapaola Bornioli, was important to us as it help us think about what we should be managing in the World Heritage Site for the benefit of its people now, rather than the conservationist’s established moral prerogative of preserving for future generations.

The oft unappreciated landmark of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in the West End features large on the map, no doubt due to its wonderful bearing on the city’s skyline, where it has to compete with the castle brooding on its rock, the Renaissance / Reformation palace at Holyroodhouse, and the Georgian splendour of Charlotte Square. Amongst the grandeur of the West End, it has long sat in somewhat inaccessible surroundings, but with the creation of a new health centre for the area, linked to the cathedral workshop, has come the opportunity to create a splendid setting for the cathedral, with works to the west of the stunning Traquair decorated song school. We are pleased to be able to offer our support to finalise the funding package for the works needed to complete this work.

Maps are as interesting for what they don’t show – surprisingly, the Festival doesn’t feature at all, and less surprisingly, neither does the Friends Meeting House on Victoria Terrace, but we are equally proud to be supporting their Windows To the World Campaign, replacing inappropriate modern windows to the lively building’s meeting rooms with replicas (albeit double glazed) of the originals casements, creating a (physically) warmer space and helping reduce their carbon footprint.

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