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Edinburgh, Coates Crescent, Gladstone Memorial

Commemorative Monument (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, Coates Crescent, Gladstone Memorial

Classification Commemorative Monument (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Shandwick Place

Canmore ID 146163

Site Number NT27SW 1866

NGR NT 24390 73497

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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


Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association ( 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 (12 February 2001)

Standing bronze figure of Gladstone on granite column. Around this column are four standing female figures: MEASURE (front left) holding a Roman steelyard; FORTITUDE (front right) holding a shield on which is the face of Christ wearing a crown of thorns); VITALITY (back left) holding a lamp with a lit flame (the Lamp of Life); FAITH (back right) holding a bible with Christ on the cross on the front of it. On either side of the column on a scroll like buttress is a large seated female figure, HISTORIA (right) and ELOQUENTIA (left). At the front, on a projecting platform are two naked boys holding ribbons and a victor's wreath of laurels balanced on a tripod formed by three red kites or 'gleds'.

The red kites or 'gleds' are a punning allusion to the origin of the name Gladstone (from Gledstane).

The memorial was designed in 1902, and placed in St Andrew Square in 1916. It was officially unveiled there by the Earl of Rosebery on 18 January 1917. The Greek inscriptions were added in 1922. The memorial was moved to Coates Crescent Gardens in 1955.

Louis Reid Deuchars assisted Pittendrigh Macgillivray on the figure of Eloquentia. The model for Eloquentia and Historia was Elizabeth Stark, a restaurant waitress.

The red kites or 'gleds' are a punning allusion to the origin of the name Gladstone (from Gledstane).

The Greek inscriptions are taken from the 'Iliad' and are translated as:

'whose eager heart and manly spirit excel' (Book X, 1.244) and 'from whose tongue also flowed speech sweeter than honey' (Book I, 1.249)

Inscriptions : On back of monument:


Below each relevant figure:

HISTORIA, ELOQUENTIA (two large female figures)

VITALITY, FAITH, MEASURE, FORTITUDE (four small female figures)

On ribbons that boys hold [Greek inscriptions]

Signatures : On right (NE) side of plinth of figure of Gladstone, in cursive script:

Pittendrigh Macgillivary

Design period : 1902 - 1922 (Greek inscriptions added in 1922)

Year of unveiling : 1955

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0191)


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