Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore. Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the supreme courts of Scotland; the city's Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the monarch in Scotland. The city has long been a centre of education in the fields of medicine, Scots law, philosophy, the sciences and engineering, it is the second largest financial centre in the United Kingdom and the city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdom's second most popular tourist destination, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year. Edinburgh is Scotland's second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom; the official population estimates are 488,050 for the Locality of Edinburgh, 513,210 for the City of Edinburgh, 1,339,380 for the city region.
Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region comprising East Lothian, Fife, Scottish Borders and West Lothian. The city is the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, it is home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of four in the city, is placed 18th in the QS World University Rankings for 2019; the city is famous for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the churches of St. Giles and the Canongate, the extensive Georgian New Town, built in the 18th/19th centuries. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999. "Edin", the root of the city's name, derives from Eidyn, the name for this region in Cumbric, the Brittonic Celtic language spoken there.
The name's meaning is unknown. The district of Eidyn centred on the dun or hillfort of Eidyn; this stronghold is believed to have been located at Castle Rock, now the site of Edinburgh Castle. Eidyn was conquered by the Angles of Bernicia in the 7th century and by the Scots in the 10th century; as the language shifted to Old English, subsequently to modern English and Scots, The Brittonic din in Din Eidyn was replaced by burh, producing Edinburgh. Din became dùn in Scottish Gaelic, producing Dùn Èideann; the city is affectionately nicknamed Auld Reekie, Scots for Old Smoky, for the views from the country of the smoke-covered Old Town. Allan Ramsay said. A name the country people give Edinburgh from the cloud of smoke or reek, always impending over it."Thomas Carlyle said, "Smoke cloud hangs over old Edinburgh,—for since Aeneas Silvius's time and earlier, the people have the art strange to Aeneas, of burning a certain sort of black stones, Edinburgh with its chimneys is called'Auld Reekie' by the country people."A character in Walter Scott's The Abbot says "... yonder stands Auld Reekie--you may see the smoke hover over her at twenty miles' distance."Robert Chambers who said that the sobriquet could not be traced before the reign of Charles II attributed the name to a Fife laird, Durham of Largo, who regulated the bedtime of his children by the smoke rising above Edinburgh from the fires of the tenements.
"It's time now bairns, to tak' the beuks, gang to our beds, for yonder's Auld Reekie, I see, putting on her nicht -cap!"Some have called Edinburgh the Athens of the North for a variety of reasons. The earliest comparison between the two cities showed that they had a similar topography, with the Castle Rock of Edinburgh performing a similar role to the Athenian Acropolis. Both of them had fertile agricultural land sloping down to a port several miles away. Although this arrangement is common in Southern Europe, it is rare in Northern Europe; the 18th-century intellectual life, referred to as the Scottish Enlightenment, was a key influence in gaining the name. Such luminaries as David Hume and Adam Smith shone during this period. Having lost most of its political importance after the Union, some hoped that Edinburgh could gain a similar influence on London as Athens had on Rome. A contributing factor was the neoclassical architecture that of William Henry Playfair, the National Monument. Tom Stoppard's character Archie, of Jumpers, said playing on Reykjavík meaning "smoky bay", that the "Reykjavík of the South" would be more appropriate.
The city has been known by several Latin names, such as Aneda or Edina. The adjectival form of the latter, can be seen inscribed on educational buildings; the Scots poets Robert Fergusson and Robert Burns used Edina in their poems. Ben Jonson described it as "Britaine's other eye", Sir Walter Scott referred to it as "yon Empress of the North". Robert Louis Stevenson a son of the city, wrote, "Edinburgh is what Paris ought to be"; the colloquial pronunciation "Embra" or "Embro" has been used, as in Robert Garioch's Embro to the Ploy. The earliest known human habitation in the Edinburgh area was at Cramond, where evidence was found of a Mesolithi
A volcanic plug called a volcanic neck or lava neck, is a volcanic object created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. When present, a plug can cause an extreme build-up of pressure if rising volatile-charged magma is trapped beneath it, this can sometimes lead to an explosive eruption. Glacial erosion can lead to exposure of the plug on one side, while a long slope of material remains on the opposite side; such landforms are called tail. If a plug is preserved, erosion may remove the surrounding rock while the erosion-resistant plug remains, producing a distinctive upstanding landform. An example of two volcanic plugs can be found at the Pitons, in Saint Lucia, as they rise abruptly out of the eastern Caribbean Sea. Near the village of Rhumsiki in the Far North Province of Cameroon, Kapsiki Peak is an example of a volcanic plug and is one of the most photographed parts of the Mandara Mountains. Spectacular volcanic plugs are present in the center of La Gomera island in the Canary Islands archipelago, within the Garajonay National Park.
Borgarvirki is a volcanic plug located in north Iceland. A volcanic plug is situated in the town of Motta Sant'Anastasia in Italy. Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel, whose construction started near Le Puy-en-Velay in France; the volcanic plug rises about 85 metres above the surroundings. Another building on a volcanic plug is the 14th century Trosky Castle in the Czech Republic. Strombolicchio, the northernmost of the Aeolian Islands, Rockall, a small, remote islet in the North Atlantic Ocean, are volcanic plugs. In the United Kingdom, two examples of a building on a volcanic plug are the Castle Rock in Edinburgh and Deganwy Castle, Wales; the Law, Ailsa Craig, Bass Rock, North Berwick Law and Dumgoyne hill are other examples of volcanic plugs located in Scotland. There are over 30 volcanic plugs in Northern Ireland, including Slemish in Ballymena, Scawt Hill, Carrickarede and Slieve Gallion. There are several volcanic plugs in the United States, including Morro Rock in California and Shiprock in New Mexico.
Devils Tower in Wyoming and Little Devils Postpile in Yosemite National Park, are believed to be volcanic plugs by many geologists. In Canada, the Northern Cordilleran Volcanic Province gives rise to several confirmed and suspected plugs. Chief among these is Castle Rock, located in British Columbia, which last erupted during the Pleistocene; the southern coast of Saint Lucia is dominated by a UNESCO World Heritage site. The twin peaks, Gros Piton and Petit Piton, steeply rise more than 770 metres above the Caribbean. There are several volcanic plugs in the North Island of New Zealand, including: the Pinnacles in the Coromandel Peninsula Bream Head in Northland Paritutu and the adjacent Sugar Loaf Islands in Taranaki St. Paul's Rock at Whangaroa Harbour Piha's Lion Rock, which hosted a fortified Maori pa. In New Zealand's South Island, Ōnawe Peninsula on Banks Peninsula is a prominent volcanic plug, erosion of Saddle Hill near Dunedin has revealed a plug. Dunedin's Mount Cargill displays two plugs: its main summit and the subsidiary summit of Buttar's Peak.
In Australia, the Nut and Table Cape in Tasmania are further examples along with Mount Warning in New South Wales
The Tron Kirk is a former principal parish church in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is a well-known landmark on the Royal Mile, it was built in the 17th century and closed as a church in 1952. Having stood empty for over fifty years, it was used as a tourist information centre and, more has been re-opened as the site of the Edinburgh World Heritage Exhibition and John Kay’s book and gift shop; the church was dedicated to Christ by the citizens of Edinburgh in 1641, known as "Christ's Kirk at the Tron". It was built for the North-West parish, one of the four parishes of Edinburgh after the Scottish Reformation of 1560. Prior to the erection of this new church, parishioners of the North-West parish worshipped in St. Giles' Cathedral. An English traveller, visiting the Tron in 1705, recorded his impression in his diary:—"The Nobility resort to the Tron Church, the principally and the Lord High Commissioner has a Throne erected in it, in a spatious Gallery, on his right hand sits the Lord Chancellor, on his left the Lord Provost of Edenborough."
There were special grants of pews made by the Edinburgh Town Council to noblemen, Senators of the College of Justice, citizens of Edinburgh Old Town and Professors of the University. A full list of seat-holders has been preserved for 1650, the year of the battle of Dunbar, for 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie was in Edinburgh. Upon the entrance of the Prince to Edinburgh, he intimated that ministers should have full liberty to continue their duties on the following day—Sunday—the only requirement being that no names should be mentioned in the prayers for the royal family; the service at the Tron was taken by the Reverend Neil McVicar of St. Cuthbert's, the two Presbyterian ministers at the Tron having left the city; the church was packed and he prayed as usual for King George by name and added—"and as for this young man who has come among us seeking an earthly crown, we beseech Thee that he may obtain what is far better, a heavenly one!" When this was reported to Prince Charles, he is said to have laughed and expressed himself pleased at the courage and charity of the minister.
In 1697, Thomas Aikenhead, an 18-year-old student, became the last person in Scotland to be executed for the crime of blasphemy after a fellow student reported that he had blasphemed against God outside the Tron Kirk. Aikenhead was prosecuted for saying "I wish I were in that place Ezra calls hell so I could warm myself" as he walked by the kirk on his way back from a night of drinking with some classmates; the baptisms and marriages of many Edinburgh luminaries took place in the Tron, one being the marriage of the famous jurist John Lauder, Lord Fountainhall on 21 January 1669, to Janet, daughter of Sir Andrew Ramsay, Lord Abbotshall, 1st Baronet, the first Lord Provost of Edinburgh, a Senator of the College of Justice. On 25 April 1694 Helen, daughter of George Ogilvy, 2nd Lord Banff by his spouse Agnes, daughter of Alexander 1st Lord Falconer, of Halkerstoun, married Sir Robert Lauder of Beilmouth in the Tron. Rev John Drysdale, who married Mary Adam, daughter of the famous architect William Adam, was a Minister of the Tron Kirk from 1766 to 1788 and was twice Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, though now he is chiefly remembered for his friendship with Adam Smith, the economist.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland met in the Tron from 1830 to 1840—the period of the "Ten Years' Conflict". The Tron, as it is called, was ordered to be built by King Charles I when he decided that St Giles' was to become the cathedral for the new see of Edinburgh; the land was purchased by the parish from MD, for £ 1000 Scots. It was erected between 1647 to a design by John Mylne, Royal master mason; the design was inspired by contemporary Dutch architecture. The full Chamberlain's Accounts for this project are still extant; the width of the building was reduced when both side aisles were removed in 1785 to accommodate the South Bridge and Blair Street leading to Hunter Square. In 1828 a new spire was constructed to replace the original, destroyed in the Great Edinburgh Fire of November 1824; the Tron closed as a church in 1952 and was acquired by the City of Edinburgh Council, the congregation moving to a new church in the Moredun area of the city. It was subsequently left to decay, the interiors were gutted.
Excavations took place under the church, from within, in 1974, which revealed some foundations of 16th century buildings in a long-vanished close named Marlins Wynd. A debate continues as to; the Tron's position as the traditional focus of Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations has been diminished in recent years, due to the expansion of the City Council's organised Hogmanay Street Party in the city centre. However, it was announced in November 2012 that this historic venue would re-stake its claim to the city's hogmanay celebrations, with a Festival of the Extraordinary planned to include live music, film screenings and, amongst other things, a mixology masterclass; the Tron is used as a venue during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, when it has been operated by Just The Tonic and Freestival as a music and cabaret venue and cafe. A new exhibition which showcases the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, as well as Scotland’s other five World Heritage Sites, is in place at the Tron Kirk; the exhibition, housed within the atmospheric 17th century former Kirk, attempts to capture the essence of the World Heritage Site in Edinburgh through the voices and opinions of local people.
The story is told in
Camera Obscura, Edinburgh
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions is a major tourist attraction in the Old Town, Scotland. Founded by entrepreneur Maria Theresa Short in 1835 and a key site in Patrick Geddes' development of regional planning, it is located on the Castlehill section of the Royal Mile next to Edinburgh Castle. In the early 18th century, the Edinburgh instrument maker Thomas Short leased some land on Calton Hill to display his instruments to the public; as his lease stipulated female relatives of Thomas could not inherit the building and its contents, his wife and children did not inherit it when he died in 1788. In 1827, Maria Theresa Short returned to Edinburgh from the West Indies claiming to be Thomas Short’s daughter and attempted to claim his "Great Telescope" for her inheritance. Despite strong competition from other parties, she received the telescope and set up "Short's Popular Observatory" in 1835, housed in a wooden and stone building next to the National Monument on Calton Hill, she kept her Observatory open till 9 pm each evening.
After this popular observatory was pulled down by authorities against her protests in 1851, she moved to Castlehill. In 1852, she bought the Laird of Cockpen’s townhouse, adding two storeys to create Short's Observatory, Museum of Science and Art, in existence from 1853 to 1892; the tenement is thought to be the original mansion of the Ramsays of Dalhousie, turned into small flats in the 18th century. The main attraction in "Short's Observatory" was the camera obscura occupying the topmost room, her husband continued to run the attraction after Mrs. Short died in 1869. In 1892, Patrick Geddes, a pioneering Scottish urban planner and ecologist, assumed management of the site, renamed it the "Outlook Tower," and organized it as a museum and urban study center demonstrating his philosophy of planning, based on comprehensive surveys of the site and region, he installed a series of exhibits on progressively broader geographic themes as one ascended the tower — first the world on the ground floor Europe, the English-speaking countries and Edinburgh — with the camera obscura itself continuing to project a real-time image of the city at the top.
People from all walks of life were invited to come to the tower to learn about their city. The museum closed after Geddes' death in 1932, it was purchased by Edinburgh University in 1966 as the home for a proposed Patrick Geddes Centre and archive, but the project was scaled back after the university closed its regional planning department. In 1982, the building was sold to a private owner, though a one-room Geddes exhibit remained on the fourth floor; the tower, with its six floors of interactive exhibitions, is still open to the public, making it the oldest purpose-built attraction in the city, one of the oldest in the United Kingdom. Nowadays there are passing references to Maria Short and Patrick Geddes in the presentation on the top floor where the Camera Obscura is still in use to project a "virtual" tour of the city for visitors, on the rooftop terrace with its views of Edinburgh and telescopes; the floors beneath the Camera Obscura hold the "World of Illusions", which offers interactive exhibits demonstrating aspects of optical illusions, colour.
There are puzzles, a mirror maze, a vortex tunnel. Although the project is a tourist attraction, it serves as a learning centre about optical illusions, the origins of photography and about Edinburgh itself. Camera Obscura in Edinburgh The concept of the Outlook Tower was tried elsewhere; when at the age of 70 Patrick Geddes moved to Montpellier, France where he bought land on a hill with a view over the city, built a house and incorporated another Outlook Tower. The house became the Scots College. There is a working camera obscura tower near the eastern end of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England others at Aberystwyth in Wales and at Kirriemuir and Dumfries, Scotland. Observatory, Bristol Collège des Écossais, Montpellier Official website
Old Town, Edinburgh
The Old Town is the name popularly given to the oldest part of Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh. The area has preserved much of many Reformation-era buildings. Together with the 18th/19th-century New Town, it forms part of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site; the "Royal Mile" is a name coined in the early 20th century for the main street of the Old Town which runs on a downwards slope from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace and the ruined Holyrood Abbey. Narrow closes no more than a few feet wide, lead steeply downhill to both north and south of the main spine which runs west to east. Significant buildings in the Old Town include St. Giles' Cathedral, the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland, the Old College of the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Parliament Building; the area contains underground vaults and hidden passages that are relics of previous phases of construction. No part of the street is called The Royal Mile in terms of legal addresses.
The actual street names are Castlehill, High Street and Abbey Strand. The street layout, typical of the old quarters of many northern European cities, is made picturesque in Edinburgh, where the castle perches on top of a rocky crag, the remnants of an extinct volcano, the main street runs down the crest of a ridge from it; this "crag and tail" landform was created during the last ice age when receding glaciers scoured across the land pushing soft soil aside but being split by harder crags of volcanic rock. The hilltop crag was the earliest part of the city to develop, becoming fortified and developing into the current Edinburgh Castle; the rest of the city grew down the tail of land from the Castle Rock. This was an defended spot with marshland on the south and a man-made loch, the Nor Loch, on the north. Access to the town was restricted by means of various gates in the city walls, of which only fragmentary sections remain; the original strong linear spine of the Royal Mile only had narrow closes and wynds leading off its sides.
These began to be supplemented from the late 18th century with wide new north–south routes, beginning with the North Bridge/South Bridge route, George IV Bridge. These rectilinear forms were complemented from the mid-19th century with more serpentine forms, starting with Cockburn Street, laid out by Peddie and Kinnear in 1856, which improved access between the Royal Mile and the newly rebuilt Waverley Station; the Edinburgh City Improvement Act of 1866 further added to the north south routes. This was devised by the architects David John Lessels, it had quite radical effects: St Mary's Wynd was demolished and replaced by the much wider St Mary's Street with all new buildings. Leith Wynd which descended from the High Street to the Low Calton was demolished. Jeffrey Street started from Leith Wynd's junction with the High Street, opposite St Mary's Street, but bent west on arches to join Market Street. East Market Street was built to connect New Street. Blackfriars Street was created by the widening of Blackfriars Wynd, removing all the buildings on the east side.
Chambers Street was created, removing Brown Square and Adam Square. It was named after the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir William Chambers, his statue placed at its centre. Guthrie Street was created. In addition to the Royal Mile, the Old Town may be divided into various areas, namely from west to east: West Port, the old route out of Edinburgh to the west Grassmarket, the area to the south-west Edinburgh Castle The Cowgate, the lower southern section of the town Canongate, a name applied to the whole eastern district Holyrood, the area containing Holyrood Palace and Holyrood Abbey Croft-An-Righ, a group of buildings north-east of Holyrood Due to the space restrictions imposed by the narrowness of the "tail", the advantages of living within the defensive wall, the Old Town became home to some of the world's earliest "high rise" residential buildings. Multi-storey dwellings became the norm from the 16th century onwards. Many of these buildings were destroyed in the Great Fire of Edinburgh in 1824.
The construction of new streets including North Bridge and South Bridge in the 18th century created underground spaces, such as the Edinburgh Vaults below the latter. Traditionally buildings were less dense in the eastern, section; this area underwent major slum clearance and reconstruction in the 1950s, thereafter becoming an area of Council housing. From 1990 to 2010, major new housing schemes appeared throughout the Canongate; these were built to a much higher scale than the older buildings and have increased the population of the area. In 1824 a major fire destroyed most of the buildings on the south side of the High Street section between St. Giles Cathedral and the Tron Kirk. During the Edinburgh International Festival the High Street and Hunter Square become gathering points where performers in the Fringe advertise their shows through street performances. On 7 December 2002, the Cowgate fire destroyed a small but dense group of old buildings on the Cowgate and South Bridge, it destroyed the famous comedy club, The Gilded Balloon, much of the Informatics Department of the University of Edinburgh, including the comprehensive artificial intelligence library.
The site was redeveloped 2013-2014 with a single new building
Bank of Scotland
The Bank of Scotland plc is a commercial and clearing bank based in Edinburgh, Scotland. With a history dating to the 17th century, it is the fifth-oldest surviving bank in the United Kingdom, is the only commercial institution created by the Parliament of Scotland to remain in existence, it was one of the first banks in Europe to print its own banknotes, it continues to print its own sterling banknotes under legal arrangements that allow Scottish banks to issue currency. In June 2006, the HBOS Group Reorganisation Act 2006 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, allowing the bank's structure to be simplified; as a result, The Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland became Bank of Scotland plc on 17 September 2007. Bank of Scotland has been a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group since 19 January 2009, when HBOS was acquired by Lloyds TSB; the Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland was established by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland on 17 July 1695, the Act for erecting a Bank in Scotland, opening for business in February 1696.
Although established soon after the Bank of England, the Bank of Scotland was a different institution. Where the Bank of England was established to finance defence spending by the English government, the Bank of Scotland was established by the Scottish government to support Scottish business, was prohibited from lending to the government without parliamentary approval; the founding Act granted the bank a monopoly on public banking in Scotland for 21 years, permitted the bank's directors to raise a nominal capital of £1,200,000 pound Scots, gave the proprietors limited liability, in the final clause made all foreign-born proprietors naturalised Scotsmen "to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever". John Holland, an Englishman, was one of the bank's founders, its first chief accountant was George Watson. The Bank of Scotland was suspected of Jacobite sympathies, its first rival, The Royal Bank of Scotland was formed by royal charter in 1727. This led to a period of great competition between the two banks as they tried to drive each other out of business.
Although the "Bank Wars" ended in around 1751, competition soon arose from other sources, as other Scottish banks were founded throughout the country. In response, the Bank of Scotland itself began to open branches throughout Scotland; the first branch in London opened in 1865. The bank took the lead in establishing the security and stability of the entire Scottish banking system, which became more important after the collapse of the Ayr Bank in 1772, in the crisis following the collapse of the London house of Neal, James and Down; the Western Bank collapsed in 1857, the Bank of Scotland stepped in with the other Scottish banks to ensure that all the Western Bank's notes were paid. See Credit crisis of 1772. In the 1950s, the Bank of Scotland was involved in several mergers and acquisitions with different banks. In 1955, the Bank merged with the Union Bank of Scotland; the Bank expanded into consumer credit with the purchase of Chester based, North West Securities. In 1971, the Bank agreed to merge with the British Linen Bank, owned by Barclays Bank.
The merger saw Barclays Bank acquire a 35% stake in the Bank of Scotland, a stake it retained until the 1990s. The merchant banking division of the Bank of Scotland was relaunched as British Linen Bank. In 1959 Bank of Scotland became the first bank in the UK to install a computer to process accounts centrally. At 11 am on 25 January 1985 the Bank introduced HOBS, an early application of remote access technology being made available to banking customers; this followed a small-scale service operated jointly with the Nottingham Building Society for two years but developed by Bank of Scotland. The new HOBS service enabled customers to access their accounts directly on a television screen, using the Prestel telephone network; the arrival of North Sea oil to Scotland in the 1970s allowed the Bank of Scotland to expand into the energy sector. The Bank used this expertise in energy finance to expand internationally; the first international office opened in Houston, followed by more in the United States and Singapore.
In 1987, the Bank acquired Countrywide Bank of New Zealand. The Bank expanded into the Australian market by acquiring the Perth-based Bank of Western Australia. A controversial period in the Bank's history was the attempt in 1999 to enter the United States retail banking market via a joint venture with evangelist Pat Robertson; the move was met with criticism from civil rights groups in the UK, owing to Robertson's controversial views on homosexuality. The Bank was forced to cancel the deal when Robertson described Scotland as a "dark land overrun by homosexuals". In the late 1990s, the UK financial sector market underwent a period of consolidation on a large scale. Many of the large building societies were demutualising and becoming banks in their own right or merging with existing banks. For instance Lloyds Bank and TSB Bank merged in 1995 to create Lloyds TSB. In 1999, the Bank of Scotland made a takeover bid for National Westminster Bank. Since the Bank of Scotland was smaller than the English-based NatWest, the move was seen as an audacious and risky move.
However, The Royal Bank of Scotland tabled a rival offer, a bitter takeover battle ensued, with the Royal Bank the victor. The Bank of Scotland was now the centre of other merger opportunities. A proposal to merge with the Abbey National was explored, but rejected. In 2