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Edinburgh, Shakespeare Square, Theatre Royal

Theatre (18th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Shakespeare Square, Theatre Royal

Classification Theatre (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Old Theatre Royal

Canmore ID 52232

Site Number NT27SE 208

NGR NT 2588 7399

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/52232

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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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

Architecture Notes

See also: NT27SE 2168 Edinburgh, Shakespeare Square, General

Arnot, in his article 'Of the Stage' in his 'History of Edinburgh' 1753, gives the history of the inception of the Old Theatere on the lonely slope at the North East angle of the new North Bridge in which was called the 'Orphans' Park, in the Extended Royalty.

The Building was begun in 1768 and was opened in December 1769. The last performance was given in 1859, the Government having acquired the site for the erection of a new General Post Office.

ARCHITECT: William Burn, 1830 (destroyed and rebuilt)

REFERENCE:

SCOTTISH RECORD OFFICE:

Proposed New Theatre Royal.

Description of the building which is to be sited in New Streets behind the Orphan Hospital to the East side of New Bridge. Illustrated by a plan.

It is hoped to raise ?2,500 by subscription. Printed.

1768 GD 44/Sec 43/Bundle 14

CITY ARCHITECT'S PLAN STORE

Drawer No.14, Drawing No.15 - Drawing of 1847 showing Theatre and Shakespeare Square.

Drawer No.16, Drawing No.22 - Plan of 1860 showing the markets and theatre

(the buildings on the East and South sides of the Square have gone).

Drawer No.14, Drawing No.39 - Plan of 1865 showing the 'New Post Office' occupying the site of the old theatre and Square.

'Plan of the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh & Houses, Buildings, Lands and other Property adjacent proposed to be taken for the erection of a New General Post Offce. Surveyed by James Leslie...November 1857' - one copy held in NMRS (DC/7551)

PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE, CHANCERY LANE

(Information from Margaret Swain, Lord Chamberlain's Accnt)

LC5/181

(John) Jackson's Trustees Sederunt Book 1790:

Creditors of the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh

'A List of debts due by Mr. John Jackson of the Theatre Royal Edinr'

Exhibited by him 27 Aug.1790

Includes: Mr. Coade for three statues to ornament the front of the

theatre but never used ?78.11.6

Mr Salisbury's bill given in for building the Colonade ?296.17.1

to which there is paid ?40... ?256.17.1

Messrs Young and Trotter, Edinb. ?50.13.11

REFERENCE:

Sources: Dean of Guild Bundle 1811 18.4.1811

Pet. Henry Siddons Esq

Shakespeare Square. Theatre Royal

Alterations and additions

Plan and elevation encl, simple. Unsigned

Edinburgh, Shakespeare Square.

The buildings of the square sprang up around the Old Theatre Royal which was opened in 1768 and when the theatre was demolished in 1860 there passed away with it the buildings on the East and South sides of the square.

Plans: National Buildings Record - 1 sheet (Tracing) of site plan - tracing made by A. Rollo, 1948 from plans of 1844-1847 in the custody of the city Architect. (Plan store drawer 16, Drawing No. 3.)

Photographs: N.B.R. Historical file. "North Bridge (new) and Street" - Aquisition etc. of site for new G.P.O.

"Old and New Edinburgh" (Grant) - Vol. I. page 349 - View of front of the theatre and a view of its demolition - Vol. I page 340.

National Buildings Record - 1 engraving.

Scottish Records Office.

Edinburgh, Shakespeare Square, Theatre Royal.

Proposed New Theatre Royal.

Description of the building which is to be sited in New Streets behind the Orphan Hospital to the East side of New Bridge. Illustrated by a plan. It is hoped to raise ?2,500 by subscription. Printed. 1768.

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