Scott Monument constructionScott Monument construction
Scott Monument construction

These 10 incredible early photos show Edinburgh's famous Scott Monument under construction

It's one of the country's most recognisable architectural landmarks, but, if not for the emergence of a pair of photographic pioneers, its mid-nineteenth century construction would be lost to the sands of time.

From their little makeshift studio situated on the slopes of Calton Hill, Messrs David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson produced a large number of calotype images capturing Edinburgh's famous Scott Monument during its five-year construction between 1841 and 1846. Thanks to Hill & Adamson's efforts we can track the progress of the world's tallest monument to a writer - the legendary Sir Walter Scott - as it rose to kiss the skies above East Princes Street Gardens. Photography at the time was in its infancy, with the world's first ever permanent photograph having been taken in France in 1826. That makes the Scott Monument series very special indeed. All images: University of Glasgow Library, Special Collections.

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