Royal Terrace, Edinburgh

Calton Hill, at the eastern end of Princes Street in Edinburgh, is surrounded on three sides by Regent Terrace, Calton Terrace and Royal Terrace, the last of these streets is pictured below.

Western end of the Royal Terrace in Edinburgh

Western end of the Royal Terrace in Edinburgh

 

It was William Henry Playfair, the renowned Scottish architect, who was responsible for the building of these prestigious streets, with the Royal Terrace being completed between 1820 and 1830. The Royal Terrace, which originally consisted of some very large townhouses (now mainly hotels), is the longest continuous stretch of Georgian architecture anywhere in Edinburgh.

William Playfair had intended his Calton Hill development to extend a fair distance to the north of London Road, and to rival the Edinburgh New Town development by James Craig in the late 18th century (to the north of Princes Street), but unfortunately the work was never fully completed.

The terrace has fine views over the Firth of Forth, and was known affectionately in the 19th century as ‘Whisky Row’. The reason for this, was probably due to the fact, that many of the residents of the Royal Terrace, were rich Spirit & Wine merchants, who could watch their ships returning from foreign trading trips.

 

 

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18 thoughts on “Royal Terrace, Edinburgh

    • Thanks Jo πŸ™‚
      I’m sure you are exactly the same Jo, when you take a photo of something, it’s always fascinating to find out a we bit about it, whether it’s history, science, wildlife or anything else! πŸ™‚

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      • Yes! I was having to write about James Croll recently for the RSGS and for that I had to try and get my head around precession and axial tilt and their effects on the ice ages. All very well but I’m not a physicist! Need Brian Cox to explain it!

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      • Lol!!!! It sounds to me, Jo, something very similar to a concept of sequence stratigraphy, (an important part of sedimentology and stratigraphy), the Milankovitch cycles. These were named after a Serbian geophysicist and astronomer Milutin MilankoviΔ‡, who in the 1920s theorized that variations in eccentricity, axial tilt, and the precession of the Earth’s orbit altered climatic patterns on Earth throughout time, and thus altered sea level heights due to the melting and freezing of the icecaps. Sea level changes are the whole basis of sequence stratigraphy. It appears that maybe a Scottish scientist thought of the concept first, even though he probably didn’t apply it to geology. I think Croll Cycles sounds much better than Milankovic Cycles!! LOL! πŸ™‚

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      • Lol!!! I find that at that time of the morning, I need coffee…….not for the caffeine, I drink decaffeinated, but it’s somehow more filling than tea πŸ™‚ Then again, back in the days before I was teetotal, often a cup of tea was really good first thing, it’s so thirst quenching πŸ™‚

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    • They have a museum in the other part of Edinburgh New town (that’s the Georgian part of Edinburgh, as opposed to the medieval ‘Old Town’ up and around the Castle), which is called The Georgian House. It shows exactly what a grand lifestyle the folk that lived in these houses had…………. it must have been the ultimate in modern living in its time πŸ™‚
      I often try to picture our towns and cities as they appeared in Victorian or Georgian times Gilly. There is an excellent online resource from the National Library of Scotland, that covers the whole of the UK, where you can look up old maps, and place a recent map overlay (eg Google Maps) on top of them, to see how places have changed over the years
      http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=13&lat=50.7259&lon=-3.5265&layers=1&b=1

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