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Edinburgh, St Andrew Square, Melville's Monument

Commemorative Monument (19th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, St Andrew Square, Melville's Monument

Classification Commemorative Monument (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Melville Monument

Canmore ID 52413

Site Number NT27SE 369

NGR NT 25595 74109

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/52413

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 369 25595 74109

Melville's Monument [NAT

OS (GIS) AIB, May 2006.

Architecture Notes

NT27SE 369 25595 74109

See also: St Andrew's Square, General (NT27SE 2559 7411)

Architect: William Burn

In 1822 Robert Forrest executed Chantrey's design for the statue

REFERENCE

SRO

Letter from William Calder, Lord Provost, to Lord Melville about the commissioning and site of the proposed statue to the late Lord Melville. The Outer Parliament house has been suggested as a suitable site but no decision can be made as certain alterations are about to be made to that site.

1811

GD51/5/72

Chantrey (Sir Francis Legatt) (1781-1841)

Statue of Lord Melville.

Letter from john Wauchope to Lord Melville. It accompanied a copy of the contract agreed betweeen The Lord Provost of Edinburgh and Mr Chantrey for execution of the Statue, with copy of reply.

1812

GD51/5/74

Letters and papers relating to the proposed monument to Robert Dundas, Viscount Melville, in Edinburgh. Mostly letters by Alexander Maconochie of Meadowbank.

1851-7

GD224/511/13

Mon to late Visc. melcill. Letter signed 'Fifensieas' suggesting that meeting called to discuss the monument should consider the proposal of a pyramid on the top of Arthur's Seat.

1818

GD26/15/76

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Activities

Construction (1821)

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 (24 April 2002)

Standing figure of Viscount Melville in robes of a peer, his left hand across his chest, and looking towards the west, on top of a fluted column (modelled on the column erected in Rome to the Emperor Trajan). The column stands on a massive square base decorated with four eagles, one in each corner.

Inscriptions : On plaque set into stone inside west entrance to garden:

THE MELVILLE / MONUMENT / ERECTED IN 1823 IN MEMORY / OF HENRY DUNDAS (1742-1811) / FIRST VISCOUNT MELVILLE AND / A DOMINANT FIGURE IN POLITICS / FOR OVER FOUR DECADES. BESIDES / BEING TREASURER FOR THE NAVY HE / WAS LORD ADVOCATE & KEEPER OF THE / SCOTTISH SIGNET. THE SUBSCRIPTION / FOR THE MONUMENT WAS RAISED BY / MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL NAVY. / IT WAS DESIGNED BY WILLIAM BURN / AND THE STATUE IS BY CHANTREY.

Signatures : None visible

Design period : 1817-1823 (column) / 1822-1827 (statue)

Year of unveiling : 1827 (statue)

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN1368)

Project (2007)

This project was undertaken to input site information listed in 'Civil engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' by R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Publication Account (2007)

This fine monument adorning the garden at St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, was erected to the memory of Henry

Dundas, Lord Melville (1742–1811), First Lord of the Admiralty under Pitt. It was designed by William Burn and

modelled on Trajan’s Column, Rome. Robert Stevenson, as consulting engineer, finalised the foundations, column dimensions and superintended the erection. The column, built of Cullalo stone, is 152 ft high and about 1500 tons in weight. It was erected in 1821 using an iron balance crane of the type used by Stevenson at the Bell Rock Lighthouse. The 15 ft high statue of Melville on top by Robert Forrest was added in 1827. It comprises 15 pieces weighing 18 tons riveted together by gunmetal bolts.

R Paxton and J Shipway 2007

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Lowlands and Borders' with kind permission of Thomas Telford Publishers.

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