To celebrate this milestone in Edinburgh's history, and as a signature event in Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, an atmospheric lumière experience will highlight the city's beautiful Georgian architecture and bring its original residents back to life, right in the heart of the New Town.
Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows is free (paid tours are available), taking place every evening between 5:30pm and 8:30pm, from 23rd February until 26th March 2017. Follow the linkboys and be immersed in the Edinburgh of more than 200 years ago.
Beginning at the centre of St Andrew Square, projections onto the Melville Monument will tell the story of the New Town's origins and take you on a journey through detailed plans of the city's streets, highlighting key buildings in the Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows trail.
Turn to 24 and 25 St Andrew Square and see the building come to life, bathed in light and filled with the shadows of former residents. Follow the trail to explore the New Town as you've never seen it before, alongside the people who walked the streets over 200 years ago, as you follow the trail of Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows.
As you move around the square, residents and buildings will be resurrected in light and projections, with illustrations based on real Edinburgh residents.
36 St Andrew Square, Registered Office of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Originally a private mansion commissioned by MP Sir Lawrence Dundas (1712 – 1781), construction of Dundas House finished in 1774, with the building eventually being acquired by The Royal Bank of Scotland 1825 who have owned it ever since. Attention will be drawn to the building's distinct neo-classical architectural features across the its frontage.
General Register House
2 Princes St
Intended as a purpose-built archival facility, General Register House is a significant building in Edinburgh's history, and one of the few buildings to be mandated by the plan, there being very little prescription on land use.
Construction finished in 1789, making it the first custom-built public record repository in Britain. Today it also holds the distinction of being the world's oldest purpose-built archive building still in use as well as having been the site of Britain's first hot-air balloon ascent, by James Tytler.
Its place on the Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows trail and its illumination highlight the innovative planning the New Town brought to city-building.
St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church
13 George Street
The stained glass windows of St Andrew & St George's West Church will be illuminated, bringing their gorgeous detail and delicious colour to life, while in the narrow alleys either side of the building the 18th century residents will go about their business, as if heedless of the passage of time.
The shadows of former residents and townspeople will go about their lives, heedless of the passage of time. Look out for the linkboy leading a fireman with his torch, the sedan chairmen waiting for their next customer, a Newhaven fishwife selling her wares and some of the city’s ‘tron men’ or chimney sweeps heading off to another New Town rooftop.
54 George St
The Assembly Rooms, built on a site donated by the Town Council, was completed in January 1787 for the Caledonian Hunt Ball and provided a place for social functions in the New Town, bringing with it a distinct shift of focus for the city's wealthy and elite from the Old Town onto the New.
The Assembly Rooms has played host to guests including Charles Dickens, Seamus Heaney, J K Rowling, as well as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. As you wander the trail, follow the linkboy and catch glimpses of the hubbub inside one of Georgian Edinburgh's favourite venues, with guests flocking to and fro.
Sir Walter Scott’s Home
39 North Castle St
Scottish literary giant Sir Walter Scott lived in the beautiful and spacious three-storey Georgian townhouse at 39 North Castle Street with his family for the majority of his married life. Glance into the residence's ground-level bay windows and you'll see Sir Walter at work in his home, kept company by a faithful companion.
Bute House & Georgian House
5-7 Charlotte Square
Leading Scottish Architect Robert Adam designed Charlotte Square. Though alterations to his plans were made after his death, elements of the square remained faithful to his design. Bute House (home of Scotland's First Minister) and its neighbours are central to Charlotte Square's north side, and an example of Adam’s original design.
The frontages of the house and its neighbours together create the illusion of an unbroken palatial façade; Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows will see Bute House and its neighbours illuminated, highlighting the beauty and detail of Adam's architectural vision.
Georgian House has been restored to preserve an example of a typical Edinburgh New Town House of the late 18th century with period furniture and decoration. Visit Georgian House to compelte your journey in the past of Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows.