Accessibility

Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Edinburgh, Picardy Place, General

General View

Site Name Edinburgh, Picardy Place, General

Classification General View

Canmore ID 135336

Site Number NT27SE 2980

NGR NT 2598 7439

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/135336

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

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

REFERENCE:

Sources: Dean of Guild. Bundle 1812. July - December 20.8.1812.

Pet. John and David Paton, builders.

Picardy Palce, North side.

Elevation, unsigned. 1 house, 3 floors and sunk.

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 (13 December 2000)

Sherlock Holmes.

Full-length bronze standing figure of Sherlock Holmes, wearing an Inverness cape and a deerstalker hat. His head is slightly tilted downwards. His right hand is raised, holding a pipe, while the other is on his hip. His left leg is placed forward. The figure is on a bronze plinth, on which is an enormous footprint of the Hound of the Baskervilles. The statue is placed on a stone pedestal.

The statue was commissioned by the Edinburgh chapter of the Federation of Master Builders to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the Federation. Funds were raised by various means, including an amateur boxing match in a pub.

The statue was cast at Gerald Laing's own bronze foundry at Kinkell Castle in Sutherland.

In 2009 the statue was removed to make way for tram works. At this time, a time capsule was found underneath it. This was placed in storage, and will be reburied when the statue is relocated in 2011.

Represents Sherlock Holmes, the fictional character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, meditating on the death of his author.

The inscription around the bowl of the pipe is a homage to the artist Magritte.

Inspected By : Emma Retson

Inscriptions : On base of stone pedestsl (incised letters): SHERLOCK HOLMES

On plaque (white raised letters, centred): IN MEMORY OF / SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE / BORN ON 22 MAY IN 1859 CLOSE TO THIS SPOT / DONATED TO THE CITY OF EDINBURGH BY / EDINBURGH AND LOTHIANS BRANCH OF THE FEDERATION OF MASTER BUILDERS / ON THE FEDERATIONS 50TH ANNIVERSARY / UNVEILED ON 24 JUNE 1991 BY / PROFESSOR GEOFFREY D. CHISOLM / Ch.M., P.R.C.S. Ed, F.R..C.S. Eng., F.R.C.P. Ed, F.R.A.C.S.(Hon), F.R.S.(SA) (Hon). / PRESIDENT, THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS, EDINBURGH.

Around bowl of pipe: Ceci n'est pas une pipe

Signatures : Back of statue on bronze base on which the statue is mounted. On the left (raised letters): GERALD OGILVIE LAING ME FECIT

On the right (raised letters): A.R.U.B.C.U. FOND KINKELL MCMXC

Design period : 1989-1991

Notes : Plaque says 50th anniversary of Federation of Master Builders, Gerald Laing says 40th. Federation founded in 1946.

Unveiling details : Monday 25th June 1991

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0967)

Field Visit

Kinetic Sculpture.

The kinetic 'light tower' which was in the centre of the roundabout in the middle of Picardy Place, comprised a helix of steel containing 96 cold cathode neon tubes, the whole structure supported by three concrete pillars at the base. It had 24 circuits, each of four neon tubes. Nine circuits were red and blue tubes, fifteen were dark blue. Wind determined the circuit selection, and wind speed determined the rate of change via an anemometer and wind vane at the top. Dimmers varied the light intensity; over a million colour pattern combinations were possible.

The kinetic sculpture was originally intended to be part of Edinburgh's Christmas light decorations in 1973. Because of a power strike the permanent switch-on was delayed till April 1974. It was then beset by technical problems and was often out of order. In May 1983 it was dismantled and put into storage. In November 1993 it was given to Morris and Steedman, architects, who acquired it for their clients Grampian Enterprises.

Design period : 1973

Year of unveiling : 1973

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN1477)

References

MyCanmore Image Contributions


Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions