Melville Monument, Edinburgh

Melville Monument, Edinburgh

While you are in Edinburgh, you will probably visit St Andrew Square and in the middle of the lovely gardens you will find the Melville Monument.

The monument was erected in 1823 in honour of the 1st Viscount of Melville, Henry Dundas, a politician who wielded so much power that he was known as the “uncrowned king of Scotland”. He was also the 1st Lord of the Admiralty and the monument was paid for by officers and sailors of the Royal Marines Scotland.

It was designed by the great architect William Burn, who modelled it on Trajan’s Column in Rome, but without the intricate inscriptions. It is 42.6 metres high and during construction the residents were worried that the foundations wouldn’t be strong enough for it, so William Burn turned to Robert Stevenson for advice.

Stevenson was a noted lighthouse architect and he had developed the first line-balance crane in the world in 1813, while he was overseeing the construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse. He put his crane into good use once again and the monument was raised with little problem onto the solid foundations he designed.

The statue of Dundas on the top of the monument was sculpted by Francis Chantrey and Robert Forrest and was added in 1828.
This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour in the iOS app "Edinburgh Map and Walks" on iTunes App Store or the Android app "Edinburgh Map and Walks" on Google Play. Please download the app for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline (so no data plan is needed).

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Sight Map

Sight Name: Melville Monument
Sight Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: New Town Walking Tour  


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