Waterloo Place Edinburgh

Waterloo Place is a continuation of Princes Street at the east end. The road continues on to Regent Road where there are magnificent views of Arthur Seat and Edinburgh City. The old High School and Robert Burns Memorial. Waterloo Place Has the Old Calton Graveyard and the Regent Bridge which allowed access to Princes Street and the New Town without going through Leith from the East.

Waterloo Place Edinburgh

 Regent Bridge Edinburgh

Robert Stevenson grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson served for nearly fifty years as an engineer for the Northern Lighthouse Board retiring in 1842. He designed and oversaw the construction of at least 18 lighthouses with individual signatures allowing them to be identified by seafarers. For his last innovation he was awarded a gold medal by King William I of the Netherlands. Stevenson designed and oversaw the construction of the Regent Bridge. The Regent Bridge allowed traffic to bypass Leith and give a direct route to Princess Street and the New Town. The Regent Bridge was finished in 1819. The Regent Bridge is a major example of Greek revival architectural work of the time. The Regent Bridge arch is semi-circular and fifty feet wide. The north front of the Regent Bridge it is forty-five feet in height, and at the south front sixty-four feet two inches, the difference being the ground declining to the south. The roadway is formed by a number of reverse arches on each side. The great arch is ornamented on the south and north by two open arches, supported by elegant Corinthian columns. The street which was joined by the Regent Bridge was called Waterloo Place, as it was laid in the year 1815 when the Battle of Waterloo was fought. The Regent Bridge was officially opened on 18 August 1819 during the visit of the Prince, Leopold of Saxe Coburg to Edinburgh. Stevenson College, Edinburgh was named after Robert Stevenson. Robert Stevenson lived at 1 Baxter’s Place in Edinburgh a building that is now called Robert Stevenson House in his memory.  Stevenson died on 12 July 1850 in Edinburgh. The Marriott Group now occupy the buildings.


Regent Bridge Inscription North




A case where a famous grandfather had an even more famous grandson. Robert Stevenson was a Scottish civil engineer and a specialist in lighthouse design. During his career he designed and oversaw construction of 18 lighthouses. His sons David and Thomas were also designers of Lighthouses Fidra Lighthouse and the Bass Rock Lighthouse were both designed by the Stevensons. Pentland Skerries Lighthouse. Bell Rock Lighthouse, (off of the east coast of Scotland near Dundee) Isle of May Lighthouse, (Firth of Forth Island)  Lismore Lighthouse, on the islet of Eilean Musdile Corsewall Lighthouse, (Dumfries) Point of Ayre Lighthouse, (Isle of Man) Calf of Man Lighthouse, (Isle of Man) Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, (Shetland Islands) Rinns of Islay Lighthouse, (Orsay, Inner Hebrides) Buchan Ness Lighthouse, (Boddam, Peterhead) Cape Wrath Lighthouse, (Sutherland) Tarbat Ness Lighthouse, (Portmahomack, Burghead) Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, (Wigtownshire) Dunnet Head Lighthouse, (Caithness) Girdle Ness Lighthouse, (Aberdeen) Barra Head Lighthouse, (Isle Berneray Outer Hebrides).  

Robert Stevenson


Robert Stevenson's bust Baxter Place Edinburgh

Old Calton Burial Ground Waterloo Place Edinburgh.

The larger part of the graveyard lies to the south of Waterloo Place and includes a number of interesting memorials. An enormous obelisk by Thomas Hamilton (1784 – 1858) is of the memorial to the political martyrs of 1793, who were transported to Australia because of their incitement to rebellion. The monument to philosopher David Hume (1711-76) was built in 1777 by Robert Adam (1728-92) and the Emancipation Monument (1893), comprising a bronze of Abraham Lincoln with a grateful free slave, remembering the Scottish soldiers who fought in the American Civil War (1861-5). Other residents include painter David Allan (1744-96), Robert Burn (1752 – 1815), who built the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill and was the father of architect William Burn (1789 – 1870), publisher Archibald Constable (1774 – 1827) and sculptor Sir John Steel (1804-91).

Old Calton Graveyard Gates Waterloo Place Edinburgh

The Martyr’s Obelisk Old Calton Burial Ground Waterloo Place Edinburgh.

In 1793 members of the Friends of the People, a universal suffrage movement, were brought to trial and deported to Australia. They were charged with treason for attempting to correspond with the French. Their true crime in the eyes of the judges was, they wanted voting rights for all. The men became known as the Chartist Martyrs. Thomas Muir of Hunter’s Hill was their leading figure, and he, along with four others who followed him, were banished to Botany Bay in Australia on 30 August 1793. The men went on to become prosperous citizens in Australia. THOMAS MUIR, THOMAS FYSHE PALMER, WILLIAM SKIRVING MAURICE MARCAROT and JOSEPH GERRALD. The Obelisk memorial was erected in 1844 across from Calton Hill.

 Martyr's Obelisk Calton Graveyard Waterloo Place Edinburgh with Edinburgh Castle in Background   Martyr's Obelisk Calton Graveyard Waterloo Place Edinburgh names of Martyrs THOMAS MUIR, THOMAS FYSHE PALMER, WILLIAM SKIRVING MAURICE MARCAROT and JOSEPH GERRALD.   Martyrs Obelisk Calton Graveyard Waterloo Place Edinburgh

David Hume’s Tomb Old Calton Burial Ground Waterloo Place Edinburgh

David Hume was born on the 26 April 1711 in Edinburgh was a Scottish philosopher and historian He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment. David Hume attended the University of Edinburgh. Hume achieved great literary fame as a historian publishing The History of England. David Hume lived from 1771 until his death in 1776 at his home in St. Andrew Square in Edinburgh’s New Town. The actual site of his home is 21 St David Street. There are two thoughts on how St David Street was named 1st after King David I and the other after David Hume.


           David Hume's Tomb Old Calton Graveyard Waterloo Place Edinburgh    David Hume Scottish National Portrait Gallery           Statue of David Hume in the Royal Mile Lawnmarket Edinburgh

 Abraham Lincoln Civil War Memorial 

Old Calton Old Calton Burial Ground Waterloo Place Edinburgh

An important part of the graveyard, beside Hume’s tomb, stands Abraham Lincoln. The memorial was erected in 1893. It depicts a standing figure of Abraham Lincoln, with a freed slave giving thanks at his feet. A bronze shield bears the old US flag, and is wreathed in thistles to the left, and cotton to the right. Two regimental flags lay furled, the battle being over. A man holds a book, indicating that he is not only free, he is also now educated. This was the first statue to an American President in any country out with the USA. It is the only statue of Lincoln in Scotland, and the only monument to the American Civil War out with the USA. The monument was erected at American expense and dedicated to a small group of Scots, only one of whom, William Duff, is buried under the monument, the rest are nearby. Lincoln felt indebted, and wished their graves to be marked. They had all fought for the Union (the North) in the American Civil War. The inscription, “To preserve the jewel of liberty in the framework of Freedom” is a quotation from the writings of Abraham Lincoln.       


David Hume's Tomb Old Calton Graveyard Waterloo Place EdinburghThose interred and honoured;


Sergeant Major John McEwan, Company H 65th Regiment Illinois Infantry

William L Duff, Lt Col 2nd Illinois Regiment of Artillery

Robert Steedman, Company E 5th Regiment Maine Infantry Volunteers

James Wilkie, Company C 1st Michigan Cavalry

Robert Ferguson Company F 57th Regiment New York Infantry Volunteers 

Alexander Smith Company G 66th Regiment New York Infantry Volunteers


 The Governor’s House Calton Hill South Edinburgh

The Governor’s House was built in 1817 in the centre of the picture above is a castellated structure situated next to the Old Calton Graveyard on the left. The Governor’s House was in the ideal position to keep a watchful eye on the jail which was to the right of the picture. The Calton jail being just in front of the Governor’s House on Regent Road at the time the largest prison in Scotland. The site is now St Andrews House government offices. Part of the wall of the jail is still standing and can be seen far right of picture.

The Governor's House Calton Hill South Edinburgh




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