Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Calton Hill is a hill in central Edinburgh, Scotland, just to the east of the New Town. Views of, and from, the hill are often used in photographs and paintings of the city.

Calton Hill is the headquarters of the Scottish Government, which is based at St Andrew's House, on the steep southern slope of the hill; with the Scottish Parliament Building, and other key buildings, for example Holyrood Palace, lying near the foot of the hill. The hill also includes several iconic monuments and buildings: the National Monument, Nelson's Monument, the Dugald Stewart Monument, the New Parliament House (the Royal High School) and the City Observatory. Although it is an historic and picturesque part of the city, the surrounding area is a hot spot for joyriders and has caused controversy in recent years after becoming notorious as a venue for open air sex, however, not just for Dogging but for fetishists also. [ [ 'Sex' with road cone | The Sun |HomePage|News ] ]

Political symbol

For a number of years, while the Royal High School was earmarked for the site of the future Scottish Assembly, and subsequently as a potential site for the Scottish Parliament, Calton Hill was the location of a permanent vigil for Scottish devolution. However, Donald Dewar, then Secretary of State for Scotland, considered the site a "nationalist shibboleth", and the nearby St Andrew's House buildings (which at that time were the base of the Secretary of State for Scotland and the former Scottish Office) to look "Nazi" like "Dresden" (sic). It was also the venue in October 2004 for the Declaration of Calton Hill which outlined the demands for a future Scottish republic.

Buildings and structures

Originally home to the notorious Calton Jail, a Bridewell that stood on the site of St. Andrew's House, all that remains now is the Baronial style Governors House.

The philosopher David Hume is buried on the eastern slope of the hill. Hume wrote his own epitaph:"Born 1711, Died [----] . Leaving it to posterity to add the rest." It is engraved with the year of his death, 1776, on the "simple Roman tomb" (a relatively large monument) which he prescribed, and which stands, as he wished it, overlooking his home at No.1 St David Street, in the New Town.

The renowned Scottish architect William Henry Playfair was responsible for the elegant thouroughfare that encircles the Hill on three sides. Comprising Royal Terrace, Carlton Terrace and Regent Terrace, the earliest and largest of the townhouses can be found on Royal Terrace. Work started "circa." 1810. The Pleasure gardens that cover over one half of the summit of the hill are privately administered by the local Residents Association. The combined terraces are home to a number of Luxury Hotels, International institutes, and on Regent Terrace the United States Consulate.Royal Terrace with its fine views over the Firth of Forth was known affectionately in the 19thc. as "Whisky Row". A reference to the amount of Spirit merchants, who bought the new properties, and for their supposed abilities to see their ships return from trading trips.Playfair was responsible for many of the monumental structures on the summit of the hill most notably the National Monument.

The eastern end of the ornate Regent Bridge is built into the side of the hill, crossing a deep gorge (at the bottom of which the opening scene from "Trainspotting" was shot) to connect the hill with Princes Street, now Edinburgh's main shopping street.


Calton Hill is the venue for a number of events throughout the year. The largest of these is the Beltane Fire Festival held on April 30 each year, attended by over 12,000 people.Fact|date=June 2007

ee also

*Hills in Edinburgh
*Politics of Scotland
*Tourism in Scotland



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