George IV Bridge Edinburgh

George IV Bridge was built to give access to Edinburgh’s southside and spans the gap that joins the Lawnmarket on the Royal Mile with Chamber Street in the south. The foundation stone was laid in August 1827 and the bridge finally opened to all in 1836. There are only two points visible showing the height of George IV Bridge over the Cowgate and at Merchant Street. The Bridge was named after King George the IV after his visit to Edinburgh in 1822. 

George IV Bridge Edinburgh looking from the Lawnmarket Royal Mile south

      The visible bridge over Merchant Street and a view of Greyfriars Graveyard     The view down Cowgate towards Holyrood Palace and Arthur Seat

 George IV Bridge over Market Street with view of Greyfriars Graveyard looking west  George IV Bridge over the Cowgate looking East

 Melbourne Place  George IV Bridge Edinburgh

Melbourne Place was demolished in 1966 to enable the council to build an office block for their own use. The halls were first opened in 1852 however the The Royal Medical Society was founded in 1737 and gained the royal charter in 1778. This Plaque marks the site of the Hal of the Royal Medical Society from 1852 – 1965 where many Edinburgh medical men delivered their first dissertation. It was demolished by the city council to enable them to build an office block which has been changed into a hotel.

Melbourne Place Plaque

Highland and Agricultural Museum No 3 George IV Bridge Edinburgh

Highland and Agricultural Museum No 3 George IV Bridge was first situated in this building in 1840.The Statue depicts, in the centre – Caledonia and to the left and right are the ploughboy and Highland reaper with his scythe. The scene below Caledonia is of a shepherd with a sheep at his feet a cow and horse standing on either side and a dog sitting. The inscription below: SEMPER ARMIS NUNC ET INDUSTRIA, EVER ARMS AND NOW INDUSTRY. The museum has now been moved and is now at The Royal Highland Showground Ingliston.

Agricultural Museum Statues George IV Bridge Edinburgh

Central Library George IV Bridge Edinburgh

Central Library was opened in 1890 and was the first public library building in Edinburgh. The Central Library was funded by Andrew Carnegie. However, the first recording of a library in Edinburgh was in 1696 in High School Yards with 120 books and a further donation of 200 books by T Kincaid in 1709.

 Central Library Entrance George IV Bridge Edinburgh   Central Library George IV Bridge Edinburgh

The Elephant House Cafe / Bistro J.K. Rowling and other writers Haunt

J K Rowling is most famous as the creator of the Harry Potter stories. She wrote the first part of Harry Potter in the Elephant House Café on George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. George Heriot’s School in Lauriston Place is said to be the famous Hogwarts College of Magic portrayed in the Harry Potter movies. 

The inscription on the plaque reads; Made famous as the place of inspiration to writers such as J.K. Rowling who sat writing much of her early novels in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle. Ian Rankin author of Rebus novels and Alexander McCall- Smith have both also frequented The Elephant House as well as many other writers. 

 Elephant House Harry Potter George IV Bridge Edinburgh    J K Rowling Plaque Elephant House George IV Bridge Edinburgh

Greyfriars Bobby George IV Bridge Edinburgh

Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh after spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner, John Gray.  Bobby himself died in 1872.  A year later a statue was erected at the top of Candlemaker Row across from the Greyfriars Kirkyard. There is also a red granite headstone in Greyfriars kirkyard near the gate. Have a stroll around the Kirkyard and see many famous and powerful people of old Edinburgh.                     

Link to Greyfriars and more about Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby's Statue George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row Edinburgh

   The National Museum of Scotland Chamber Street Edinburgh

The National Museum of Scotland houses outstanding international collections from Science and Industry, The Natural World, Decorative Arts plus the History of Scotland from its geological beginnings to the 21st century and many other wonderful and interesting exhibits. The museum was modernised after a 2-year closure and was re-opened in July 2011. There are two parts to the building, the former Museum of Scotland and the modern extension of the building opened in 1998. The former Royal Museum opened in 1866. There are many things for adults and children to do and see on a cold wet summer day, such as becoming an astronaut. There is also a café and restaurant. Entry is free. The museum is on 7 floors and has lifts and stairways connecting each area.

Scottish National Museum Extension George IV Bridge Edinburgh

The National Library of Scotland George IV Bridge Edinburgh

The National Library of Scotland building was completed in 1956. The Library was given the legal right under the 1710 Copyright Act to claim a copy of every book published in Britain. Due to the volume of books and manuscripts a second building opened in Causewayside in 1995. One of the largest of Europe’s research libraries with almost 20 million printed items in the collection. If you wish to find out about almost anything you will find it in there.

National Library of Scotland George IV Bridge Edinburgh

Link to Bank Street

Link to West Parliament Square

Link to Chamber Street