Nicolson Square Edinburgh
Nicolson Square was built on Nicolson Park circa 1750 on land owned by Lady Elizabeth Nicolson at the same time as she built a new road which was later named Lady Nicolson Street and now shortened to Nicolson Street a continuation of the South Bridge linking the South with the Old Town of Edinburgh. There is a square of Nicholson Street with a garden. In the Garden is a Brass Pillar and Iron Fountain.
The Brass Iron Founders’ Pillar Nicolson Square Garden Edinburgh
The Brass Iron Founders’ Pillar features the biblical character, Tubal Cain the legendary founder of brass and iron making skills. The designer of The Brass Founders’ column was James Gowans the Lord Dean of Guild, commissioned by the Edinburgh and Leith Brass Founders for the 1886 International Exhibition of Science Art and Industry held in the Meadows where it won a gold medal. It was later shown at the Scottish National Exhibition in Saughton Park in 1908. It was then gifted to the City of Edinburgh. The pillar can be found in Nicolson Square Garden across from The Surgeons Hall Museum.
The granite plaque next to the fountain in Nicolson Square Garden gives a brief description of the pillar and fountain.
The cast iron fountain was made at the Sun Foundry in Glasgow by George Smith & Co circa 1866 and was shown at the International Exhibition on the meadows in 1886..
James Finlayson Nicolson Square Edinburgh
James Finlayson was born in Penicuik a few miles south of Edinburgh in 1772. He became a textile mill engineer in 1820 and moved to Finland. On seeing the opportunity in the fast flowing river of Tammerkoski, he open a company which manufactured machinery for the textile industry which became the largest industry in the Nordic countries in the late 19th and early 20th century. He was the person who made Tampere the second city of Finland. James also opened an orphanage for the children in Tampere. In 1838 he moved back to Scotland and moved to 8 Nicholson Square were he died at the age of 80.