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Chapter 14 – The Head of the Earthen Mound., pp.93-100.

[Old & New Edinburgh Contents]

The Bank of Scotland – Its Charter – Rivalry of the Royal Bank Notes for £5 and for 5s. – The New Bank of Scotland – Its Present Aspect – The Projects of Mr. Trotter and Sir Thomas Dick Lauder – The National Security Savings Bank of Edinburgh – The Free Church College and Assembly Hall – Their Foundation – Constitution – Library – Museum – Bursaries – Missionary and Theological Societies – The Dining Hall, &c. – The West Princes Street Gardens – The Proposed Canal and Seaport – The East Princes Street Gardens – Railway Terminus – Waverley Bridge and Market. 

   “HOW well the ridge of the old town was set off by a bank of elms that ran along the front of James’s Court, and stretched eastward over the ground now partly occupied by the Bank of Scotland,” says Cockburn, in his “Memorials;” but looking at the locality now, it is difficult to realise the idea that such a thing had been; yet Edgar shows us a pathway running along the slope, between the foot of the closes and a row of gardens that bordered the loch. 

   Bank Street, which was formed in 1798 a few yards westward of Dunbar’s Close, occasioning in its formation the destruction of some buildings of great antiquity, looks at first sight like a broad cul-de-sac blocked up by the front of the Bank of Scotland, but in reality forms the carriage-way downward from the head of the Mound to Princes Street. 

   While as yet the bank was in the old narrow alley that so long bore its name, we read in the Edinburgh Herald and Chronicle of March, 1800, “that the directors of the Bank of Scotland have purchased from the city an area at the south end of the Earthen Mound, on which they intend to erect an elegant building, with commodious apartments for carrying on their business.” 

   Elsewhere we have briefly referred to the early progress of this bank, the oldest of the then old “chartered banks” which was projected by John Holland, a retired London merchant, according to the scheme devised by William Paterson, a native of Dumfries, who founded the Bank of England. 

   The Act of the Scottish Parliament for starting the Bank of Scotland, July, 1695, recites, by way of exordium, that “our sovereign lord, considering how useful a public bank may be in this kingdom, according to the custom of other kingdoms and states, and that the same can only be best set up and managed by persons in company with a joint stock, sufficiently endowed with those powers, authorities, and liberties necessary and usual in such cases, hath therefore allowed, with the advice and consent of the Estates of Parliament, a joint stock of £1,200,000 money (Scots) to be raised by the company hereby established for the carrying on and managing a public bank.” 

   After an enumeration of the names of those who were chosen to form the nucleus of the company, including those of five Edinburgh merchants, the charter proceeds to state that they have full powers to receive in a book the subscriptions of either native Scots or foreigners, “who shall be willing to subscribe and pay into the said joint stock, which subscriptions the aforesaid persons, or their quorum, are hereby authorised to receive in the foresaid book, which shall lie open every Tuesday or Friday, from nine to twelve in the forenoon, and from three to six in the afternoon, between the first day of November next and the first day of January next following, in the public hall or chamber appointed in the city of Edinburgh; and therein all persons shall have liberty to subscribe for such sums of money as they shall think fit to adventure in the said joint stock, £1,000 Scots being lowest sum and £20,000 Scots the highest, and the two-third parts of the said stocks belonging always to persons residing in Scotland. Likewise, each and every person, at the time of his subscribing, shall pay into the hands of the forenamed persons, or any three of them, ten of the hundred of the sums set down in their respective subscriptions towards carrying on the bank, and all and every the persons subscribing and paying to the said stock as aforesaid shall be, and hereby are declared to be, one body corporate and politic, by the name and company of THE BANK OF SCOTLAND,” etc. 

   The charter, while detailing minutely all that the bank may do in the way of lending money and giving laws for its internal government, fails to define in any way the liability of the shareholders to each other or to the public. For the space of twenty-one years it was to be free from all public burdens, and during that time all other persons in the realm of Scotland are prohibited from setting up any rival company. 

   To preclude the breaking of the bank contrary to the object in view, it is declared that the sums of the present subscriptions and shares may only be conveyed and transmitted by the owners to others who shall become partners in their place, or by adjudication or other legal means. It is also provided by the charter that all foreigners on acquiring the bank stock must become “naturalised Scotsmen, to all intents and purposes whatsoever,” a privilege that became abused, and was abolished in 1822. The charter further ordains that no member of the said company shall, upon any “pretence whatever, directly or indirectly, use, exercise, or follow any other traffic or trade with the said joint stock to be employed in the said bank, or any part thereof, or profits arising therefrom, excepting the trade of lending and borrowing money upon interest, and negotiating bills of exchange, allenarly [i.e., these things only], and no other.” 

   By various subsequent statutes the capital of this bank was increased till it stood nominally at £1,500,000, a third of which has not been called; and by the Act 36 and 37 Victoria, cap. 99, further powers to raise capital were granted, without the Act being taken advantage of. The additional amount authorised is £3,000,000, which would give a total capital of £4,500,000 sterling. 

   The monopoly conferred on the bank by the Parliament of Scotland was not renewed at the expiry of the first twenty-one years; and on its being found that banking business was on the increase, another establishment, the Royal Bank of Scotland, was chartered in 1727, and immediately became the rival of its predecessor. 

   “It purchased up,” says Arnot, “all the notes of the Bank of Scotland that they (the directors) could lay hands on, and caused such a run upon this bank as reduced them to considerable difficulties. To avoid such distresses for the future, the Bank of Scotland, on the 29th of November, 1730, began to issue £5 notes, payable on demand, or £5 2s. 6d. six months after their being presented for payment, in the option of the bank. On the 12th of December, 1732, they began to issue £1 notes with a similar clause.” 

   The other banking companies in Scotland found it convenient to follow the example, and universally framed their notes with these optional clauses. They were issued for the most petty sums, and were currently accepted in payment, insomuch that notes for five shillings were perfectly common, and silver was, in a manner, banished from Scotland. To remedy these banking abuses, an Act of the British Parliament was passed in 1765, prohibiting all promissory notes payable to the bearer under £1 sterling, and also prohibiting and declaring void all the optional clauses. 

   In the year 1774, when the Bank of Scotland obtained an Act to enlarge their capital to £2,400,000 Scots, or £200,000 sterling, a clause provided that no individual should possess in whole, or more than £40,000 in stock, and the qualification for the offices of governor and directors was doubled. 

   The present offices of the Bank of Scotland were completed from the original design in 1806 by Mr. Richard Crichton, and the institution was moved thither in that year from the old, narrow, and gloomy close where it had transacted business for one hundred and eleven years. 

   In digging the foundation of this edifice, the same obstacle came in the way that eventually occasioned the fall of the North Bridge. After excavating to a great depth, no proper foundation could be found – all being travelled earth. The quantity of this carted away was such that the foundations of some of the houses in the nearest closes were shaken and their walls rent, so that the occupants had to remove. A solid foundation was at last found, and the vast structure was reared at the cost of £75,000. “The quantity of stone and mortar which is buried below the present surface is immense, and perhaps as much of the building is below the ground as above it,” says Stark in 1820. “The dead wall on the north of the edifice, where the declivity is greatest, is covered by a stone curtain, ornamented with a balustrade. The south front is elegant. A small dome rises from the centre, and in the front are four projections. A range of Corinthian pilasters decorates the second floor, and over the door in the recess is a Venetian window, ornamented with two columns of the Corinthian order, surmounted by the arms of the bank.” 

   Much of all this was altered when the bank was enlarged, restored, and most effectively re-decorated by David Bryce, R.S.A., in 1868-70. It now presents a lofty, broad, and arch-based rear front of colossal proportions to Princes Street, from whence, and every other point of view, it forms a conspicuous mass, standing boldly from among the many others that form the varied outline of the Old Town, and consists of the great old centre with new wings, surmounted by a fine dome, crowned by a gilded figure of Fame, seven feet high. In length the facade measures 175 feet, and 112 in height from the pavement in Bank Street to the summit, and is embellished all round with much force and variety, in details of a Grecian style. The height of the campanile towers is ninety feet. 

   The bank has above seventy branches; the subscribed capital in 1878 was £1,875,000; the paid-up capital £1,250,000. There are a governor (the Earl of Stair, K.T.), a deputy, twelve ordinary and twelve extra-ordinary directors. 

   The Bank of Scotland issues drafts on other places in Scotland besides those in which it has branches, and also on the chief towns in England and Ireland, and it has correspondents throughout the whole continent of Europe, as well as in British America, the States, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and elsewhere – a ramification of business beyond the wildest dreams of John Holland and the original projectors of the establishment in the old Bank Close in 1695. 

   Concerning the Earthen Mound, the late Alexander Trotter of Dreghorn had a scheme for joining the Old Town to the New, and yet avoiding Bank Street, by sinking the upper end of the mound to the level of Princes Street, and carrying the Bank Street end of it eastward along the north of the Bank of Scotland, in the form of a handsome terrace, and thence south into the High Street by an opening right upon St. Giles’s Church. The next project was one by the late Sir Thomas Dick Lauder. He also proposed to bring down the south end of the mound “to the level of Princes Street, and then to cut a Roman arch through the Lawnmarket and under the houses, so as to pass on a level to George Square. This,” says Cockburn, “was both practical and easy, but it was not expounded till too late.” 

   Not far from the Bank of Scotland, in 16 North Bank Street, ensconced among the mighty mass of buildings that overlook the mound, are the offices of the National Security Savings Bank of Edinburgh, established under statute in 1836, and certified in terms of the Act 26 and 27 Victoria, cap. 87, managed by a chairman and committee of management, the Bank of Scotland being treasurer. 

   Of this most useful institution for the benefit of the thrifty poorer classes, suffice it to say, as a sample of its working, that on striking the yearly accounts on the 20th of November, 1880, “the balance due to depositors was on that date  £1,305,279 14s. 7d., and that the assets at the same date were £1,309,392 8s., invested with the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt, and £3,104 3s. 9d., at the credit of the bank’s account in the Bank of Scotland, making the total assets £1,312,496 11s. 9d., which, after deduction of the above sum of £1,305,279 14s. 7d., leaves a clear surplus of £7,216 17s. 2d. at the credit of the trustees.” 

   The managers are, ex officio, the Lord Provost, the Lord Advocate, the senior Bailie of the city, the Members of Parliament for the city, county, and Leith, the Provost of Leith, the Solicitor-General, the Convener of the Trades, the Lord Dean of Guild, and the Master of the Merchant Company. 

   In the same block of buildings are the offices of the Free Church of Scotland, occupying the site of the demolished half of James’s Court. They were erected in 1851-61, and are in a somewhat florid variety of the Scottish baronial style, from designs by the late David Cousin. 

   In striking contrast to the terraced beauty of the New Town, the south side of the vale of the old loch, from the North Bridge to the esplanade of the Castle, is overhung by the dark and lofty gables and abutments of those towering edifices which terminate the northern alleys of the High Street, and the general grouping of which presents an aspect of equal romance and sublimity. From amid these sombre masses, standing out in the white purity of new freestone, are the towers and facade of the Free Church College and Assembly Hall, at the head of the Mound. 

   Into the history of the crises which called these edifices into existence we need not enter here, but true it is, as Macaulay says, that for the sake of religious opinion the Scots have made sacrifices for which there is no parallel in the annals of England; and when, at the Disruption, so many clergymen of the Scottish Church cast their bread upon the waters, in that spirit of independence and self-reliance so characteristic of the race, they could scarcely have foreseen the great success of their movement. 

   This new college was the first of those instituted in connection with the Free Church. The idea was originally entertained of making provision for arts classes as well as those for theology; and accordingly Mr. Patrick C. Macdougal was appointed, in 1844, Professor of Moral Philosophy, the Rev. John Millar was appointed Classical Tutor, and in 1845 the Rev. Alexander C. Fraser was appointed Professor of Logic. To give effect to the view long cherished by the revered Dr. Chalmers, that logic and ethics should follow the mathematical and physical sciences in the order of study, the usual order thereof was practically altered, though not imperatively so. 

   The provision thus made for arts classes was greatly due to the circumstance that at that time the tests imposed upon professors in the established universities were of such a nature and mode of application as to exclude from the professorial chairs all members of the Free Church. 

   When these tests were abolished, and Professors Fraser and Macdougal were elected to corresponding chairs in the University of Edinburgh, in 1853 and 1857, this extended platform was renounced, and the efforts of the Free Church of Scotland were concentrated exclusively upon training in theology. 

   Premises – however, inadequate for the full development of the intended system – were at once procured in George Street, and there the business of the college was conducted until 1850. 

   These class-rooms were near the house of Mr. Nasmyth, an eminent dentist, and as the students were in the habit of noisily applauding Dr. Chalmers, their clamour often startled the patients under the care of Mr. Nasmyth, who by letter requested the reverend principal to make the students moderate their applause, or express it some other way than beating on the floor with, their feet. On this, Dr. Chalmers promptly informed them of the dentist’s complaint, and begged that they would comply with his request. “I would be sorry indeed if we were to give offence to any neighbour,” said the principal; adding, with a touch of that dry humour which was peculiar to him, “but more especially Mr. Nasmyth, a gentleman so very much in the mouths of the public.” 

   Immediately after the Disruption, Dr. Chalmers had taken active steps to secure for the Free Church a proper system of theological training, in full accordance with the principles he had advocated so long, and subscription lists were at once opened to procure a building suited to the object. Each contributor gave £2,000, and Dr. Welsh succeeded in obtaining from twenty-one persons £1,000 each, a sum which more than sufficed to purchase the site of the college – the old Guise Palace, with its adjacent closes – and to erect the edifice, while others were built at Glasgow and Aberdeen. 

   Plans by W. H. Playfair, architect, were prepared and adopted, after a public competition had been resorted to, and the new buildings were at once proceeded with. The foundation stone was laid on the 4th of June, 1846, by Dr. Chalmers, exactly one year previous to the day which saw his remains consigned to the tomb. The ultimate cost was £46,506 8s. 10d., including the price of the ground £10,000. 

   The buildings are in the English collegiate style, combining the common Tudor with some of the later Gothic. They form an open quadrangle (entered by a handsome groined archway), 165 feet from east to west and 177 from south to north, including on the east the Free High Church. The edifice has two square towers (having each four crocketed pinnacles), 121 feet in height, buttressed at the corners from base to summit. There is a third tower, 95 feet in height. The college contains seven great class-rooms, a senate hall, a students’ hall, and a library, the latter adorned with a statue of Dr. Chalmers as Principal, by Steel. 

   The stairs on the south side of the quadrangle lead to the Free Assembly Hall, on the exact site of the Guise Palace. It was erected from designs by David Bryce, at a cost of £7,000, which was collected by ladies alone belonging to the Free Church throughout Scotland. 

   The structure was four years in completion, and was opened on the 6th of November, 1850, under the sanction of the Commission of the Free General Assembly, by their moderator, Dr. N. Paterson, who delivered a sermon and also a special address to the professors and students. Subsequently, this inaugural sermon and the introductory lectures delivered on the same occasion to their several classes by Professors Cunningham, Buchanan, Bannerman, Duncan, Black, Macdougal, Fraser, and Fleming, were published in a volume, as a record of that event. 

   The constitution of this college is the same as that of the Free Church colleges elsewhere. The Acts of Assembly provide for vesting college property and funds, for the election of professors, and for the general management and superintendence of college business. The college buildings are vested in trustees appointed by the Church. A select committee is also appointed by the General Assembly, consisting of “eleven ministers and ten elders, of whom five shall retire by rotation from year to year, two only of whom may be re-elected, and reserving the rights competent to all parties under the laws of the Church; with authority to undertake the general administration of college property and finances, to give advice in cases of difficulty; to originate and prosecute before the Church Court processes against any of the professors for heresy or immorality, and to make necessary inquiries for that purpose; to originate also, and prepare for the decision of the General Assembly, proposals for the retirement of professors disabled by age or infirmity, and for fixing the retiring allowance they are to receive.” The convener is named by the Assembly, and his committees meet as often as may be necessary. They submit to the Assembly an annual report of their proceedings, with a summary of the attendance during the session. 

   The election of professors is vested in the General Assembly; but they are inducted into their respective offices by the Presbytery. There is a Senatus Academicus, composed of the Principal and professors. 

   The library of this college originated with Dr. Welsh, who in 1843 brought the subject before the Assembly. He obtained large and valuable donations in money and books from friends and from Scottish publishers in this country and America. Among the benefactors were the Earl of Dalhousie, Lords Effingham and Rutherford, General McDowall of Stranraer, Buchan of Kelloe, and others. The endowment now amounts to about £139 per annum. The library is extensive and valuable, numbering about 35,000 volumes. It is peculiarly rich in patristic theology, ecclesiastical history, systematic theology, and works belonging to the epoch of the Reformation. 

   The museum was begun by Dr. Fleming, but was mainly indebted to the efforts of the late Mrs. Macfie of Longhouse, who, at its commencement, enriched it with a large number of valuable specimens, and led many of her friends to take an interest in its development. The geological department, which is on the same floor with the class-room, contains a large number of fossils, many of which are very curious. In the upper museum is the varied and valuable collection of minerals, given by the late Dr. Johnston of Durham. In the same room are numerous specimens of comparative anatomy. The herbarium is chiefly composed of British plants. 

   The endowment fund now amounts to above £44,000, exclusive of £10,000 bequeathed for the endowment of a chair for natural science. 

   The whole scheme of scholarships in the Free Church College originated with Mr. James Hog of Newliston, who, in 1845, by personal exertions, raised about £700 for this object, and continued to do so for eight years subsequently. Legacies and donations at length accumulated such a fund as to render subscriptions no longer necessary. 

   A dining hall, wherein the professors preside by turn, is attached to the New College, to which all matriculated students, i.e., those paying the common fee, or securing as foreigners a free ticket, are entitled to dine on payment of a moderate sum. 

   The common hall of the college is converted into a reading-room during the session. All students may become members on the payment of a trifling fee, and the arrangements are conducted by a committee of themselves. Since 1867 a large gymnasium has been fitted up for the use of the students, under the management of eight of their number, the almost nominal subscription of six-pence from each being found sufficient to defray the current expenses. 

   Westward of the Earthen Mound, the once fetid morass that formed the bed of the loch, and which had been styled “a pest-bed for all the city,” is now a beautiful garden, so formed under the powers of a special statute in 1816-20, by which the ground there belonging originally to the citizens became the private property of a few proprietors of keys – the improvements being in the first instance urged by Skene, the friend of Sir Walter Scott. 

   In his “Journal,” under date of January, 1826, Sir Walter says:- “Wrote till twelve a.m., finishing half of what I call a good day’s work, ten pages of print, or rather twelve. Then walked in the Princes Street pleasure grounds with the Good Samaritan James Skene, the only one among my numerous friends who can properly be termed amicus curarum mearum, others being too busy or too gay. The walks have been conducted on the whole with much taste, though Skene has undergone much criticism, the usual reward of public exertions, on account of his plans. It is singular to walk close beneath the grim old castle and think what scenes it must have seen, and how many generations of three-score and ten have risen and passed away. It is a place to cure one of too much sensation over earthly subjects of imitation.” 

   He refers here to James Skene of Rubislaw, a cornet of the Light Horse Volunteers, the corps of which he himself was quartermaster, and to whom he dedicated the fourth canto of “Marmion,” and refers thus:- 

“And such a lot, my Skene, was thine, 

When thou of late wert doomed to twine – 

Just when thy bridal hour was by – 

The cypress with the myrtle tie. 

Just on thy bride her sire had smiled, 

And blessed the union of his child, 

When love must change its joyous cheer, 

And wipe affection’s filial tear.”

   In the subsequent March Scott had left his beloved house in Castle Street for ever. 

   Among the memorials of the Pictish race, illustrated so ably in Dr. Stuart’s “Sculptured Stones of Scotland,” is one with the peculiar emblems of the crescent and sceptre, which was found under the Castle rock and near the west churchyard. 

   The line of railway which intersects the garden, and passes by a tunnel under the new portion of St. Cuthbert’s churchyard, fails to mar its beauty, as it is almost entirely hidden by trees and shrubbery, especially about the base of the rock, from which the castle “looks down upon the city as if out of another world: stern with all its peacefulness, its garniture of trees, its slopes of grass. The rock is dingy enough in colour, but after a shower its lichens laugh out greenly in the returning sun, while the rainbow is brightening on the lowering sky beyond. How deep the shadow which the castle throws at noon on the gardens at its feet, where the children play! How grand when giant bulk and towery crown blacken against the sunset!” 

   In the extreme western portion of the gardens lie some great fragments of masonry, which have fallen down in past sieges from some of the older walls in the vicinity of the sallyport, while the foundations of these are to be traced from point to point, some feet on the outside of the present fortifications, and lower down the rock. 

   In the western hollow is an ornamental fountain of considerable beauty, and formed of iron, named after its donor, Mr. Ross, who spent £3,000 on its erection. In 1876 the gardens were acquired by the citizens, and were then much improved. They are used in summer for musical promenades, and in contour and embellishment, though much more extensive, have a certain resemblance to the gardens on the east side of the Earthen Mound. 

   For long years after the loch had passed away the latter was but a reedy, marshy hollow, intersected by what was called the Little Mound, that led from near South St. Andrew Street to the foot of Mary King’s Close. The ground was partially drained when the North Bridge was built, but more effectually about 1821, when it was let as a nursery. 

   When the Union canal was projected, towards the close of the last century, the plans for it, not unlike those of the Earl of Mar in 1728, included the continuation of it through the bed of the North Loch, past where a street was built, and actually called Canal Street. “From thence it was proposed to conduct it to Greenside, in the area of which was an immense harbour; and this, again, being connected by a broad canal with the sea, it was expected that by such means the New Town would be converted into a seaport, and the unhappy traders of Leith compelled either to abandon their traffic or remove within the precincts of their jealous rivals. Chimerical as this project may now appear, designs were furnished by experienced engineers, a map of the whole plan was engraved on a large scale, and no doubt our civic reformers rejoiced in the anticipation of surmounting the disadvantages of an inland position, and seeing the shipping of the chief ports of Europe crowding into the heart of their new capital!” 

   The operations for forming the canal were delayed in 1776 by a dispute between the magistrates and the feuars of the extended royalty relative to Canal Street, that ended in the Court of Session, which sustained “the defences pled by the magistrates of Edinburgh, and assoilie from the conclusion of the declarator; but with respect to the challenge brought with regard to particular houses being built contrary to the Act of Parliament, 1698, remit to the Lord Ordinary to hear parties to do as he shall see cause.” The Lord President, the Lord Justice Clerk, and Lord Covington, were of a different opinion from the rest of the court, and condemned the conduct of the magistrates in very severe terms. 

   The Act of 1698, referred to, was one restricting the height of houses within the city, and to the effect that none should be above five storeys, with a front wall of three feet in thickness at the base. In March, 1776, the dispute was adjusted, and a print of the time tells us that the public “will now be gratified with a pleasure-ground upon the south side of Princes Street, to a considerable extent; and the loch will in time be formed into a canal, which will not only be ornamental, but of great benefit to the citizens.” 

   This Utopian affair was actually commenced, for in the Edinburgh Weekly Magazine of the 28th March, 1776, we are told that on the 25th instant twenty labourers “began to work at the banks of the intended canal between the old and new town;” but how far the work proceeded we have no means of knowing. 

   The site of the projected canal is now occupied by the railway terminus and Waverley Bridge. The former extends eastward under the North Bridge, and occupies a great space, including the sites on which stood old streets, two churches, and two hospitals, which we have already described, a public market, and superseding the original termini, but retaining some of the works pertaining to the Edinburgh and Glasgow, the North British, and the Edinburgh, Perth, and Dundee Railways. Between 1869 and 1873 it underwent extensive reconstruction and much enlargement. It has a pedestrian access, about twelve feet wide, from the north-east corner of the Green Market, and a spacious carriage-way round the western side of that market and from the Old Town by the Waverley Bridge, and serves for the entire North British system, with pleasant and sheltered accommodation for the arrival and departure of trains. 

   The site of the Little Mound we have referred to is now occupied by the Waverley Bridge, which, after striking rectangularly from Princes Street, about 270 yards westward of the new post office, crosses the vale of the old loch, southward to the foot of Cockburn Street. The bridge was originally a stone railway structure, consisting of several arches that spanned the Edinburgh and Glasgow lines, and afforded carriage access to all the three original termini. Proving unsuitable for the increased requirements of the station, it was in 1870-3 replaced by a handsome iron skew bridge, in three reaches, that are respectively 310, 293, and 276 feet in length, with 48 feet of a carriage-way and 22 feet of footpaths. 

   The Green Market, which lies immediately westward of the block of houses at the west side of the North Bridge, occupies, or rather covers, the original terminus of the Edinburgh, Perth, and Dundee Railway, and was formed and opened on the 6th March, 1868, in lieu of the previous market at the eastern end of the valley, removed by the North British Railway. It stands on a basement of lofty arches, constructed of strength sufficient to bear the weight of such a peculiar edifice. It was covered by an ornamental terraced roof, laid out in tastefully-arranged gardens, level with Princes Street, and having well lights and a gallery; changes, however, were effected in 1877, when it was to suffer encroachment on its roof by the street improvements, and when it received a further ornamentation of the former, and acquired at its north-west corner a handsome staircase. In the spacious area of this edifice, promenade concerts, cattle and flower shows, are held. 

   The East Princes Street Gardens, which extend from the Waverley Bridge to the east side of the Mound, after being, as we have said, a nursery, were first laid out in 1830, and after suffering some mutilation and curtailment by the formation of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, were re-formed and ornamented anew in 1849-50, at the expense of about £4,500. 

   The high graduated banks with terraced walks descend to a deep central hollow, and comprise within their somewhat limited space a pleasant variety of promenade and garden ground. 

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