Object of the Month - October

James Craig's plan for the Edinburgh New Town, 1767, Historic Environment Scotland, SC466310

James Craig's plan for the Edinburgh New Town, 1767, Historic Environment Scotland, SC466310

Planning Edinburgh New Town

This plan for the Edinburgh New Town was designed by 27-year-old architect, James Craig (1739–1795). In 1766 James Craig won the architectural competition to design a new suburb or ‘New Town’ for Edinburgh. This was to be built to the north of the Old Town and consisted primarily of three impressive mile-long streets with grand vistas and public squares at each end. While the plan was published in 1767 it would take another 40 years for building work for this phase of the New Town to be completed.

The inscription on the map reads 'His Most Sacred Majesty, George III, The Munificent Patron of every polite and liberal Art. This Plan of the New Streets and Squares intended for his ancient capital of North Britain; One of the happy consequences of the Peace, Security and Liberty his people enjoy under his mild and auspicious government, is with the utmost humility inscribed by his Majesty's most devoted servant and his subject, James Craig'.

This plan is presented in our exhibition A Tale of Two Cities which will be presented at Edinburgh Castle in December 2015.

David Roberts