New lecture exposes Edinburgh’s links to the slave trade
Sir Geoff Palmer O.B.E., the respected human rights activist and Professor Emeritus in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt…
16th May 2018
Edinburgh World Heritage
Princes Street Gardens sit quietly between the cliff of the Old and hill of the New Town, divided into eastern and western parts by Playfair’s picturesque temples to art on the Mound. The presence of one of the busiest railway lines in Scotland is imperceptible.
The gardens have undergone many changes – from a loch to a sewer to a private garden, with a railway line added, and to a public memorial garden. They now play an important role in the life of the city, at Christmas and Hogmanay, as well as at quieter times of the year. But in the early 19th century, they were private, and unless you were a resident, a key could cost as much as four guineas a year. The first public opening came in 1851 at the request of the Scottish Society for Suppressing Drunkenness, who believed the gardens would tempt people away from the pub at Christmas and New Year.
They are now frequented all year round, and are especially attractive at this time of year.
All images by Edinburgh World Heritage.