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Edinburgh, Princes Street Gardens, Royal Scots Monument

Commemorative Monument (20th Century), War Memorial (20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Princes Street Gardens, Royal Scots Monument

Classification Commemorative Monument (20th Century), War Memorial (20th Century)

Canmore ID 111794

Site Number NT27SE 638.03

NGR NT 25333 73761

NGR Description Centred on NT 25333 73761

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/111794

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Architecture Notes

NT27SE 638.03 25333 73761

Architect: Sir F Mears, 44 Queen Street.

Activities

Aerial Photography (1 September 1994)

Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (http://www.pmsa.org.uk/) set up a National Recording Project in 1997 with the aim of making a survey of public monuments and sculpture in Britain ranging from medieval monuments to the most contemporary works. Information from the Edinburgh project was added to the RCAHMS database in October 2010 and again in 2012.

The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) Edinburgh Sculpture Project has been supported by Eastern Photocolour, Edinburgh College of Art, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, Historic Scotland, the Hope Scott Trust, The Old Edinburgh Club, the Pilgrim Trust, the RCAHMS, and the Scottish Archive Network.

Field Visit (11 May 2009)

A paved semi-circular terrace featuring a massive pylon of rose-coloured freestone bearing the badge of the regiment flanked by the battle honours. To the left of this pylon is a monolith, carved by Elizabeth Dempster, commemorating the founding of the regiment by Sir John Hepburn in 1633. To the right are six monoliths, carved in relief, depicting changes in the dress, arms and other attributes of the regiment throughout its history. The monoliths are joined by railings decorated with medallion portraits of all the kings and queens reigning from the regiment's founding till the erection of the monument. The railings are also inscribed with a quotation from the Declaration of Arbroath and, below, a low wall is inscribed with the names of various campaigns fought by the regiment throughout the world.

The large pylon, which is eighteen feet long and ten feet high, faces across the valley of Princes Street Gardens to the Shrine at the top of Edinburgh Castle. The monument, which depicts the living history of the regiment, is thus looking up to the Shrine which commemorates the great sacrifices made.

The monument was designed by Sir Frank Mears. The bronze grille work was by Pilkington Jackson, and the bronze regimental badge was by James Clark. The stones were carved in situ by Elizabeth Dempster (first and fifth monoliths), Andrew Dods (second and fourth monoliths), Tom Macnair (third and sixth monliths), and Pilkington Jackson (seventh monolith and the lettering).

Mr A. E. Haswell Miller, M.C., R.S.W. was consulted on historical dress and equipment depicted on the monoliths.

Inscriptions : There are 27 medallions on the railings, three between each stone pier. They are from left (north) to right (south):

1) Corn stook entwined with ribbons.

2) Fleur de lis and motto MONTJOYE . SAINT . DENIS [an ancient war cry of the French Kings].

3) Peacock feathers and crown.

4) Portrait of Charles I. Inscribed: CR (entwined) 1625 - 1649

5) Thistle and motto NEMO . ME . IMPUNE . LACESSIT [= no one provokes me with impunity (Order of St Andrew of Scotland)]

6) Portrait of Cromwell Lord Protector. Inscribed CLP (entwined)

7) Portrait of Charles II. Inscribed CR (entwined) 1649 - 1685

8) Thistle and motto [same as number 5 above]

9) Portrait of James II. Inscribed JR (entwined) 1685 - 1688

10) Double portrait of William and Mary. Inscribed WM (entwined) 1689 - 1702

11) Thistle and motto

12) Portrait of Queen Anne. Inscribed AR (entwined) 1702 - 1714

13) Portrait of George I. Inscribed GR (entwined) 1714 - 1727

14) Thistle and motto

15) Portrait of George II. Inscribed GR (entwined) 1727 - 1760

16) Portrait of George III. Inscribed GR (entwined) 1760 - 1820

17) Thistle and motto

18) Portrait of George IV. Inscribed GR (entwined) 1820 - 1830

19) Portrait of William IV. Inscribed WR (entwined) 1830 - 1837

20) Thistle and motto

21) Portrait of Queen Victoria. Inscribed VR (entwined) 1837 - 1901

22) Portrait of Edward VII. Inscribed ER (entwined) 1901 - 1910

23) Thistle and motto

24) Portrait of George V. Inscribed GR (entwined) 1910 - 1936

25) Portrait of Edward VIII. Inscribed ER (entwined) 1936

26) Thistle and motto

27) Portrait of George VI. Inscribed GR (entwined) 1936 - 1952

All the royal portrait medallions are surmounted by a crown, the portrait of Cromwell is surmounted by a helmet.

At the south end of the memorial is a stone plaque inscribed:

THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED UNDER / THE BEQUEST OF CAMPBELL SMITH, S.S.C. / EDINBURGH : A PIONEER OF THE ROYAL / SCOTS CLUB AND A GREAT FRIEND OF / THE REGIMENT. IT WAS UNVEILED BY / H.R.H: THE PRINCESS ROYAL C.I: G.C.V.O. / G.B.E.: T.D., COLONEL-IN-CHIEF : ON THE / 26TH OF JULY IN THE FIRST YEAR OF / THE REIGN OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II

Below this is a stone plaque inscribed: ON 28TH MARCH 2006, 373 YEARS TO THE / DAY SINCE KING CHARLES I SIGNED / THE WARRANT TO RAISE THE REGIMENT, / THE ROYAL SCOTS (THE ROYAL REGIMENT) / MERGED WITH THE OTHER SURVIVING / SCOTTISH INFANTRY REGIMENTS TO FORM / THE ROYAL REGIMENT OF SCOTLAND. / OUR UNBROKEN HISTORY AND SERVICE TO / SOVEREIGN AND COUNTRY LIVES ON IN THE / 1ST BATTALION OF THE NEW REGIMENT.

Below this a third stone plaque is inscribed: WEST GERMANY : BERLIN : KOREA : EGYPT : CYPRUS / SUEZ : LIBYA : RADFAN : ADEN : NORTHERN IRELAND / FALKLAND ISLANDS : THE GULF : BOSNIA : IRAQ

Around the corner (on the west side of the wall) is a bronze plaque (with raised letters): [an elaborate letter A surmounted by a crown] / HRH THE PRINCESS ROYAL / KG KT GCVO / COLONEL-IN-CHIEF /1983 - 2006 / UNVEILED THE FINAL / ADDITIONS / TO THIS MONUMENT / ON / 9 MAY 2007

An additional stone plaque, also at the south end of the memorial, is inscribed:

1918 1965 / H.R.H. PRINCESS ROYAL / COLONEL-IN-CHIEF / THE ROYAL SCOTS (THE ROYAL REGIMENT) / FOR FORTY SEVEN YEARS / THIS STONE WAS UNVEILED BY / HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN / ON 1ST JULY 1968

Seven of the eight piers are decorated, in low relief, with depictions of the regiment over the years. The second pier (from left) is the largest and is decorated with the crest of the regiment in bronze and inscribed with the battle honours on either side:

Left side: TANGIER 1680 . NAMUR 1695 / . BLENHEIM . RAMILLIES . / OUDENARDE . MALPLAQUET / LOUISBURG . HAVANNAH / EGMONT-OP-ZEE . ST LUCIA / 1803 . CORUNNA . BUSACO / SALAMANCA . VITTORIA / SAN SEBASTIAN . NIVE . / PENINSULA . NIAGARA / WATERLOO . NAGPORE . / MAHEIDPOOR . AVA . ALMA / INKERMAN . SEVASTAPOL

Right side: TAKU FORTS . PEKIN 1860 / SOUTH AFRICA 1899-1902 / LE CATEAU . MARNE 1914/18 / YPRES 1915/17/18 . LOOS . SOMME / 1916/18 . ARRAS 1917/18 . LYS / STRUMA . GALLIPOLI 1915-16 / PALESTINE 1917-18 . DEFENCE / OF ESCAUT . ODON . AART / FLUSHING . RHINE . NORTH- / WEST EUROPE 1940/44-45 / GOTHIC LINE . ITALY 1944-45 / KOHIMA . BURMA 1943-45 / GULF 1991 (an additional inscription)

At the bottom, in the centre, is a sphinx with a banner above it inscribed EGYPT

The crest of the regiment includes a roundel with G VI R in the centre.

The iron railings between the piers are inscribed:

To the left of the main pier:

1) THE . MONUMENT . OF . THE . ROYAL . SCOTS

2) THE . 1ST . OR . ROYAL . REGIMENT . OF . FOOT

The remaining sections of railing are inscribed with a quotation from the Declaration of Arbroath:

3) IT . IS . NOT . FOR . GLORY . NOR . RICHES

4) . NEITHER . IS. IT . FOR . HONOURS .

5) THAT . WE . FIGHT . BUT . IT . IS . FOR

6) . THE . SAKE . OF . LIBERTY . ALONE .

7) . WHICH . NO . TRUE . MAN . LOSETH .

8) BUT . AT . THE . COST . OF . HIS . LIFE:

9) GIVEN . AT . ARBROATH . BY . THE . BARONS : FREE . TENANTS . & . THE . WHOLE / COMMUNITY . OF . THE . KINGDOM . OF SCOTLAND . IN . THE . YEAR . 1320

The low wall which runs at the base of the memorial is inscribed (on its nine sections) with the names of various campaigns fought by the regiment throughout the world:

From left (north) to right (south):

1) FRANCE : BOHEMIA : SWEDEN : NETHERLANDS : DENMARK

2) FRANCE : GERMANY

3) FRANCE : GERMANY : IRELAND : TANGIER

4) NETHERLANDS : IRELAND : HOLLAND : BAVARIA : FLANDERS

5) IRELAND : WEST INDIES : FLANDERS : FRANCE : NORTH AMERICA

6) IRELAND : MEDITERRANEAN : WEST INDIES : PORTUGAL : SPAIN : EGYPT / INDIA : CANADA : SWEDEN : FRANCE : FLANDERS : NETHERLANDS : BURMA

7) IRELAND : CANADA : WEST INDIES : CRIMEA : MEDITERRANEAN : INDIA / CHINA : EGYPT : BECHUANALAND : ZULULAND : BURMA : SOUTH AFRICA

8) INDIA : FRANCE : FLANDERS : GALLIPOLI : EGYPT : MACEDONIA

PALESTINE : ARCHANGEL : CAUCASUS : IRELAND : BURMA

9) HONG KONG : FRANCE : BURMA : GIBRALTAR : ITALY : GERMANY / MALAYA : PALESTINE : MALTA : INDIA : PAKISTAN : TRIESTE

Signatures : Medallions signed: PJ (entwined)

Piers (with reliefs) signed, from left (north) to right (south):

(1) [no mark], (2) [AD], (3) [TM], (4) [AD], (5) [no mark], (6) [TM], (7) [PJ]

Design period : 1948 - 1952

Unveiling details : Unveiled 26 July 1952

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0185)

Project (February 2014 - July 2014)

A data upgrade project to record war memorials.

References

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