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Charlotte Square

Charlotte Square from the SW
Robert Adam's palace-fronted north side
The central pavilion on the south side
A statue of Prince Albert stands in the centre of Charlotte Square, in front of West Register House

Charlotte Square is a St. Andrew Square in the east. The gardens are private and not publicly accessible.


  • History 1
  • Gardens 2
  • Buildings 3
  • Residents 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Initially named St. George's Square in Robert Adam, who died in 1792, just as building began.

In 1939 a very sizable air-raid shelter was created under the south side of the gardens, accessed from the street to the south.

In 2013 the south side was redeveloped in an award-winning scheme, creating major new office floorspace behind a restored series of townhouses.


The garden was originally laid out as a level circular form by William Weir in 1808.[1]

In 1861 a plan was drawn up by Robert Matheson, Clerk of Works for Scotland for a larger, more square garden, centred upon a memorial to the recently deceased Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria.

The commission for the sculpture was granted in 1865 to Sir William Brodie (Nobility).[3]

This remodelling featured major new tree-planting which took many years to re-establish.

The central open space is a private garden, available to owners of the surrounding properties. For the last three weeks in August each year Charlotte Square gardens are the site of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The railings around the gardens were removed in 1940 as part of the war effort. The current railings date from 1947.


On the north side, No. 5 was the home of John Crichton-Stuart, 4th Marquess of Bute (1881–1947), who bought it in 1903 and gave it to the National Trust for Scotland on his death. It was the Trust headquarters from 1949 to 2000. Bute did much to promote the preservation of the Square.

Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland

Nos. 6 and 7 are also owned by the National Trust for Scotland. No.6,


External links

  1. ^ Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh by Gifford, McWilliam and Walker
  2. ^ Gunnis, Rupert. Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1660-1857
  3. ^  
  4. ^ "Georgian House". National Trust for Scotland. 
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Pioneer of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, was born in nearby South Charlotte Street.


West Register House, formerly Robert Reid in 1811, broadly to Adam's plan. The church opened in 1814 and was converted to its current use in 1964. It is one of the main buildings of the National Records of Scotland

in Fife in 1975. Hill of Tarvit. The building includes one fireplace brought from Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland The upper floor was formerly the official residence of the [4]

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