Edinburgh City Chambers

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Edinburgh City Chambers viewed across the Royal Mile from the Mercat Cross in Parliament Square.
The former Royal Exchange, Edinburgh.
Alexander & Bucephalus by John Steell, located in front of Edinburgh's City Chambers. Modelled 1832, cast in bronze 1883, presented to the city by the subscribers 1884.
One of two panels listing provosts and, after 1667, Lords Provosts of the city

Edinburgh City Chambers (245–329 High Street, 2 Warriston's Close and 14 Cockburn Street) is the home of the City of Edinburgh Council, in Scotland. The Royal Exchange was funded by subscription and built in 1753–61 to designs by John and Robert Adam, with detail alterations by John Fergus.[1] The Exchange was opened in 1760 by Lord Provost George Drummond.

The Exchange never proved popular with the merchants, for whom it was built, who persisted in meeting at the Mercat Cross or, rather, where it stood before it was removed in 1756.[2] The Town Council took over the north range in 1811 as the City Chambers and by 1893 had bought the whole building.

The main building is set back from the High Street behind a quadrangle fronted by a groin-vaulted open arcade screen facing the Royal Mile. There is a prominent bronze statue of Alexander Taming Bucephalus, by John Steell, in the quadrangle. This was modelled in 1832 but not cast in bronze until 1883. It stood in St Andrew Square until 1916.[3] The "Great War Stone", within the arcade on the High Street, commemorates residents of the royal burgh who lost their lives in World War I. The monument was unveiled by Prince Henry on Armistice Day in 1927, and a further commemorative inscription was added after World War II.

Most of the interior and all of the main Council Chambers date from 1875 to 1890 and are by the City Architect of the time, Robert Morham. He also built the north-west wing in 1898 and the arched arcade fronting the courtyard in 1901.

The east and west wings on the Royal Mile are by the later City Architect Ebenezer James MacRae in the 1930s but look convincingly Victorian.

The City Chambers and the Alexander and Bucephalus Statue are designated Category A listed buildings by Historic Scotland.

Cluster of important buildings[edit]

The City Chambers is part of an A-listed group all of which are A-listed in their own right:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Edinburgh, 245–329 High Street, City Chambers – NT27SE 285". Canmore. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Grant, James. Old and New Edinburgh 1. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  3. ^ Buildings of Scotland:Edinburgh by McWilliam Gifford and Walker

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 55°57′01″N 3°11′25″W / 55.9503°N 3.1904°W / 55.9503; -3.1904