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Edinburgh, Princes Street Gardens, Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial

Commemorative Monument (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, Princes Street Gardens, Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial

Classification Commemorative Monument (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) West Princes Street Garden

Canmore ID 237928

Site Number NT27SE 638.04

NGR NT 25016 73652

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 (4 October 2000)

A stone sited amongst nine silver birch trees, at the end of a path of sixteen flag stones set into the grass.

The original proposal for the memorial was a curved wall with five trees in another part of Princes Street Gardens.

Following Ian Hamilton Finlay's earlier 'Sacred Grove' at the Kroller-Muller, Otterlo (19), and previous work at Little Sparta, the use of the stone in the form of a column base here is meant to suggest the role of a living column for the tree behind. Unfortunately, the original birches did not thrive, and were replaced a few months later so that the tree does not line up with the base as Finlay intended. Here, the classical tradition of architecture is returned to its roots in the tree.

Inscriptions : On front of stone (incised letters):



1850 - 1894

Signatures : None

Design period : 1987-1989

Year of unveiling : 1989

Unveiling details : 14 July 1989 (unveiled by Muriel Spark)

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0178)

Photographic Survey (28 September 2006)

Ian Hamilton Finlay, 1999.

Photographed by the Threatened Buildings Survey as part of the wider survey of structures in Princes Street Gardens.



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