City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Scott Monument

Scott Monument
E. Princes St Gardens
Edinburgh EH2 2EJ
Scott Monument, Princes Street Garden East
Venue details
Edinburgh Area: 
New Town, Edinburgh
Telephone (info): 
0131 529 4068
Edinburgh Fringe Venue: 

The Scott monument is a brooding, 200-foot (61m), Gothic spire which opened in 1846 in honour of the prolific local novelist Walter Scott. It has been called "the largest monument to a writer in the world".

Situated opposite Jenners and very near Waverley Station, the "gothic rocket" has a very dark complexion, caused by pollutants and soot sticking to its oily, shale stone structure. In spite of attempts to clean up the monument - during the 1990s it was under scaffolding and covered up for many years - it still has a heavy, dark colouring.

When you climb the Monument's 287 steps to the top, via its narrow, spiral staircase you come to a series of viewing decks offering views of Edinburgh City Centre.

Outside the Scott Monument is the starting point for a Fringe walking tour.


In 1836, four years after Scott's death, an architectural competition was launched, inviting designs for an appropriate memorial. Construction of the winning design by George Meikle Kemp began in 1840, after permission was obtained from Parliament to build in Princes Street Gardens, and it was opened in 1846.

Today, the Scott Monument is administered by the City of Edinburgh Council Museums department. Admission is £4 for adults and children (no concs).