Edinburgh Past And Present - The Edinburgh Website


Just a month after Lord Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 Edinburgh citizens planned a memorial to him. The foundation stone was laid in 1807 but the money ran out a year later after the tower was built. It wasn't completed until 1815 when the council took over.
A time ball was added in 1852 so that ship captains in the Forth could set their clocks at 1pm. This is still in operation today.
The tower has 143 steps and is 106ft high but is 456 ft above sea level. It resembles a telescope and was designed by Robert Burn (the original design by Alexander Nasmyth was deemed too expensive). There are exhibitions on Nelson and the history of the tower on the ground floor.

Nelson Monument-2006 (5)a
Nelson Monument June- 2006 (26)a
New Town Burns Monument-2013 (1)a


A committee was formed in the Free Mason's Tavern in London in 1891 to organise a proposal by a Mr Mitchell to built a monument in Edinburgh to Robert Burns. Sculptor John Flaxman produced a life sized statue in marble and when it was discovered that only half the funds raised had been used, a decision was made to house it in a monument. This was designed by Thomas Hamilton who had designed the Burns monument in Alloway. It was completed in 1831 and by 1839 the council took over control. The statue was removed as pollution from the gas works below was damaging the marble. The statue is now in the Portrait gallery on Queen Street but the monument remains on Regent Road.

New Town Floral Clock2-2006a
New Town Floral Clock 2013a