Scott Monument


Scott Monument

The Scott Monument sits in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh and is over 200 feet tall. Work on it was started in 1840 and it took four years to complete. Sir Walter Scott died in 1832 and there was a competition to design the monument which the self-taught architect George Meikle Kemp won.

It is the largest monument in Britain dedicated to a writer and the cost was huge at the time. The full bill for £16,154 was paid for by contributions from the people of Scotland.

The sculptor Sir John Steell was commissioned to sculpt the statue of Scott which sits in the centre of the monument and while the rest of the monument is built from sandstone, Steell´s contribution was carved in white marble. It depicts Scott pausing from writing a moment and pondering something, quill in hand while his dog sits faithfully at his side.

There are no fewer than 64 statues on the monument depicting characters from Scott's novels and some historic figures as well.

The monument was restored in the 1990's at a cost of over £2 million funded largely by Edinburgh Council and Historic Scotland.

The monument is open to the public all year round and it currently costs £3 to enter. It is a long climb up a series of very tight winding spiral staircases to reach the top (287 steps in all) but the view makes the climb well worth undertaking.


Scott Monument