Basic Site Details

Name: The Old Observatory, Calton Hill
City or county: Edinburgh
Country:  
Parish:  
Status:  
Grid ref:
Notes:  

Alternative Names

The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:
 NameCurrent name?Notes
Item 1 of 1Observatory HouseYes 

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 2Observatory  
Item 2 of 2House The tower was occupied by Thomas Short and not put to use as an observatory until the early 19th C.

Street Addresses

The following street addresses are associated with this building:
 AddressMain entrance?Notes
Item 1 of 1Calton Hill  

Events

The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 425 July 1776 Foundation stoneThe first foundation stone was laid by the Lord Provost in the presence of many members of the Town Council and the Senate of the University of Edinburgh
Item 2 of 41792 * Completion 
Item 3 of 41886 Alterations and additionsAlterations 'recently' completed
Item 4 of 41893 Alterations and additions 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


People

Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 3James CraigArchitect 1776(?)1792 
Item 2 of 3Walter Wood RobertsonArchitectC1886 Alterations 'recently' completed
Item 3 of 3Robert MorhamArchitectB1893 Alterations

Clients

The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
 NameNotes
Item 1 of 1Thomas ShortColin McLaurin had previously amassed an observatory fund of 400 and on agreement from the trustee members, the money was given to the Astronomer Thomas Short to fund the construction of the new observatory.

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Cruft, K and Fraser, A (ed)1995James Craig 1744-1795  p108-9
Item 2 of 3Gifford, John, McWilliam, Colin and Walker, David M1984Edinburgh (The Buildings of Scotland) Harmondsworth: Penguin Books Ltdp436
Item 3 of 3Smyth, Charles Piazzi1886Astronomical Observations at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh 1834-1886  p2

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 2Personal Post-War Archive (held at ECA)Miles Glendinning Edin (Misc) Articles, Post 1975, non-hsg
The Calton Conference, 5th November 1983
"The Calton Conference; National Shrine, City Park and Outstanding Vantage Point: Does Edinburgh Make the Most of this National Asset?"
Notes from written speech from Emeritus Professor H.A. Bruck, C.B.E., D Phil., Ph.D.
Item 2 of 2Personal Post-War Archive (held at ECA)Miles Glendinning Edin (Misc) Articles, Post 1975, non-hsg
Pamphlet for the Calton Conference, 5th November 1983
"The Calton Conference; National Shrine, City Park and Outstanding Vantage Point: Does Edinburgh Make the Most of this National Asset?"
published by Edinburgh New Town Committee, 13a Dundas St, Edinburgh EH3 6QG