A 'crash display' as part of a road safety campaign at the Mound in October 1964.
A 'crash display' as part of a road safety campaign at the Mound in October 1964.

Edinburgh's Mound: Here are 29 pictures from the 1950s and 1960s that show life on the famous Capital street

It’s a busy thoroughfare with dramatic views of the Capital that has connected Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns for almost 250 years – and there was plenty happening on the Mound over half a century ago

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 4:34 pm

The slope of the Mound is a manmade structure, created by dumping over 1.5million cartloads of earth removed from the foundations of the New Town and dumped in the Nor Loch.

The Nor Loch was drained in 1765 and is now the site of Princes Street Gardens, with an entrance at the bottom of the Mound.

Originally called the 'Earthen Mound’, the new road was proposed by Lawnmarket residents in 1783 to make it easier to get to Princes Street, which at that point only extended from St Andrew Square to Hanover Street.

It proved to be a success and was was extended and improved several times until, by 1830, it was largely the road that is in existence today.

Tunnels were driven through the Mound in 1846 to allow trains to reach the newly-constructed Edinburgh Waverley Station.

Over the years the Mound has become a prestigious address for a range of businesses and institutions, including the National Gallery of Scotland, the Royal Scottish Academy of Art, the University of Edinburgh's New College, the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland, Headquarters of the Bank of Scotland, and its museum, Museum on the Mound.

At the foot of the Playfair Steps the M ound Precinct is a large open space used by street performers during the Edinburgh Fringe, with the street itself a ‘must see’ for tourists given it’s dramatic views over Princes Street and the New Town.

Another landmark is the 11-foot high bronze statue of a Black Watch soldier half way down the Mound, commemorating members of the regiment killed or wounded in the South African War of 1900-02.

And today, the street is the location for Edinburgh’s Christmas tree each year.

Here are 29 pictures to take you back to the Mound in the 1950s and 1960s.

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