Tuesdays Edinburgh – Hanover Street


This week we are venturing over into the Georgian New Town of Edinburgh. These photos are all taken on the first block of Hanover Street as we walk away from Princes Street. In contrast to Edinburgh’s Old Town, the New Town was one of the first planned city centres, and it is laid out on a geometric grid. The streets are wide and the buildings all in perfect proportion. Compared to the higgelty piggelty squeeze of the old city centre, this new part of town was elegant and spacious, and for the first time people with money could live with a bit of distance between themselves and the squalid poor.

This first block of Hanover Street became part of the heart of the merchant driven wealth of Edinburgh, and Merchants Hall is a beautiful building, decorated with seahorses to reflect wealth from the oceans waves. It has been home to The Edinburgh Merchant Company since the Nineteenth Century, with its motto ‘Terraque Marique’, ‘By land and by Sea’.

Hanover Street is also home to The Royal Society of Edinburgh, which has been Scotland’s academy of science and letters since 1783. It represents the broadest selection of disciplines of all of the Royal Societies in the UK, founded in the midst of the intellectual fever of the Scottish Enlightenment, and by bringing together leading thinkers in many fields it published ground breaking works. During the 19th Century it produced many scientists whose ideas laid the foundations for many of todays sciences.

I always find it incredible that so many brilliant thinkers were all working and researching here in Scotland. The roots of much of what we call science today were birthed in these historic Edinburgh buildings, and the societies they housed. Taking the time to stop and notice these places reveals many interesting facts which could so easily be rushed past and missed on the way to the consumer driven attractions of Edinburghs shops.

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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18 Responses to Tuesdays Edinburgh – Hanover Street

  1. ladyfi says:

    What grand and lovely architecture. Your photos pick out some lovely detail – my favourite being the Tudor rose on the door.

  2. Nikki says:

    Ditto what all the others have said… 🙂
    I love photos that tell a story and I also enjoy a good history lesson! Thank you for providing both!

  3. 2me4art says:

    Thank you for the education. Stunning photography! Your blog is very interesting, I love Architecture & History. -amy

  4. wisejourney says:

    You collage your pictures so beautifully…wish I knew how. All I can do is press upload ! 🙂

    • What a nice comment, but I promise it isn’t very hard (which is why I can manage!). When you go to upload, once all the photos you want to use have been uploaded you can choose to create a new gallery( bottom right of screen) , then just tick all the photos you want to include in the gallery. Then click create gallery, then click upload gallery. You can pay around with the order the images appear to get the best layout. Can’t wait to see your first gallery 🙂

  5. .. again, you’ve provided a window to a part of the world that I can only hope to see someday. As a zoologist I have, of course, heard of the Royal Society and am now glad to have seen it! Thanks. D

    • I didn’t know you were a zoologist, there’s no end to your talents and skills 🙂 the Zoology department at Edinburgh University is one of the oldest in the world. Must take some shots of that one day soon for you.

      • That would be great – must be a fascinating place – with a fascinating history. Although I am interested in all animals … I have a particular thing for molluscs!

  6. ginnietom says:

    …told by a beautiful tourist guide…great post…:-)))

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