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Edinburgh, George Iv Bridge, Greyfriars Bobby Fountain

Drinking Fountain (19th Century), Statue (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, George Iv Bridge, Greyfriars Bobby Fountain

Classification Drinking Fountain (19th Century), Statue (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Candlemaker Row; Greyfriars Churchyard

Canmore ID 115646

Site Number NT27SE 1196

NGR NT 25696 73296

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/115646

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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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

RCAHMS Print Room

Greyfriars Churchyard

2 views of monuments (1 of them duplicated) and a close view of the statue of Greyfriars Bobby at the top of Candlemaker Row

W Schomberg Scott Photograph Collection

Acc No 1997/39.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Located at junction of George IV Bridge and Candlemaker Row, opposite entrance to Greyfriars cemetery. Commemorates the legendary loyalty of the dog of John Gray (died 1858), police constable. Bronze statue by William Brodie, 1872. Erected by Baroness Burdett-Coutts, with drinking fountain beneath.

M T R B Turnbull 1989.

No longer functions as a drinking fountain (2000).

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Activities

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 (30 July 1999)

Statue of seated life-size small dog on circular base with crenellations, on top of marble column with two coat of arms, rising out of shallow marble basin. Plain cylindrical marble base has dedication plaque.

One of the coats of arms is that of the City of Edinburgh: a shield decorated with a three-towered castle, surmounted by an anchor and flanked by a maiden and a hind. The other is that of Baroness Burdett Coutts: a shield decorated, in the first and fourth quarters, with a stag's head, above which is a pheon (the barbed head of a dart or arrow); and with two bars on which are martlets, in the second and third quarters. The shield is flanked by a stag and a lion, and surmounted by a crown.

According to Benedict Read, the statue was modelled from life just before the dog died. (1)

Greyfriars Bobby stayed for fourteen years at the grave in Greyfriars Churchyard of his policeman master John Gray.

Inscriptions : On base of sculpture (incised letters): GREYFRIARS BOBBY / FROM THE LIFE JUST BEFORE HIS DEATH.

On bronze plaque on base of fountain (raised letters): A TRIBUTE / TO THE AFFECTIONATE FIDELITY OF / GREYFRIARS BOBBY / IN 1858 THIS FAITHFUL DOG FOLLOWED / THE REMAINS OF HIS MASTER TO GREYFRIARS / CHURCHYARD AND LINGERED NEAR THE SPOT / UNTIL HIS DEATH IN 1872 / WITH PERMISSION / ERECTED BY THE / BARONESS BURDETT COUTTS.

On banner above Edinburgh coat of arms (incised letters): NISI DOMINUS FRUSTRA

Signatures : On bronze base beneath tail:

Wm. BRODIE. R.S.A. Sc. 1872.

Design period : 1872

Year of unveiling : 1872

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0122)

References

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