Calton Hill

And the plans for Edinburgh’s Third New Town

By Kirsten Carter McKee

Format: Hardback

Published for the 200th anniversary of Playfair's design for the old City Observatory and plans for the third New Town.

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

Product Description


Calton Hill, on the eastern edge of Edinburgh's centre, has a special relationship with the city. Development of the hill and its surrounding area

(often referred to as Edinburgh's ‘Third New Town') began in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries by a decision-making elite, who

proposed to change the site from a rural periphery into the new urban core of the city.

This book shows that the architecture and urban design on Calton Hill was a demonstration of Scotland's cultural identity and political allegiance to

the British State - as key enlightenment figures and theories were celebrated alongside the British naval heroes and the House of Hanover in the

early stages of its development. However, as Scotland's identity within Britain evolved through changes in governance in the nineteenth and early

twentieth centuries, Calton Hill - and all that its neo-Greek architecture came to represent - became a metaphor for the friction between Scottish

and British Nationalism, resulting in it being considered a ‘Nationalist Shibboleth' by the last years of the twentieth century.

This book considers how the architectural expression of Calton Hill has been perceived, accepted and rejected as ideas surrounding cultural

identity, governance and nationalism have changed over the last 200 years.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Hardback
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 6 Sep 2018
ISBN 9781910900178
Number of Pages 224

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Press Reviews

'A delightfully in-depth treasure trove of information for anyone with an interest in Scottish architecture. [Contains] a multitude of beautiful illustrations to enjoy'

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