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Autumn in Edinburgh

Princes Street Gardens is a public park in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. The Gardens were created in two phases in the 1770s and 1820s following the long draining of the Nor Loch and building of the New Town, beginning in the 1760s. The loch, situated on the north side of the town, was originally an artificial creation forming part of its medieval defences and made expansion northwards difficult. The water was habitually polluted from sewage draining downhill from the Old Town. In 1846 the railway was built in the valley to connect the Edinburgh-Glasgow line at Haymarket with the new northern terminus of the North British line from Berwick-upon-Tweed at Waverley Station.

The gardens run along the south side of Princes Street and are divided by The Mound. East Princes Street Gardens run from The Mound to Waverley Bridge, and cover 8.5 acres. The larger West Princes Street Gardens cover 29 acres and extend to the adjacent churches of St. John's and St. Cuthbert's, near Lothian Road in the west.

The Gardens are the best known park in Edinburgh, having the highest awareness and visitor figures for both residents and visitors to the city. Various concerts and other events are held at the Ross Bandstand including the Festival Fireworks Concert, Men's Health Survival of the Fittest, and during the city's Hogmanay celebrations.West Princes Street Gardens were originally the private property of "the Princes Street Proprietors" who overlooked them from their houses on the western half of the street. This was passed to them from the council in 1816. Dogs, cricket, perambulators and smoking were prohibited under their rules, and people using bath-chairs had to present a doctor's certificate to the Committee of the garden attesting to their ailment not being contagious.

An application by the Scottish Association for Suppressing Drunkenness that the gardens be opened during Christmas and New Year "with the object of keeping parties out of the dram shops (i.e. illegal drinking premises)" led eventually to them being opened to the general public on Christmas Day, New Year's Day and one other day in the year.The Ross Bandstand is named after William Henry Ross, Chairman of the Distillers Company Ltd., who gifted the first bandstand on the site in 1877. The present building and terraces date from 1935. The Princes Street proprietors contributed £500 as a goodwill gesture to the cost of the bandstand. The distinctive shelters on the upper walkway date from 1950 and were designed by Alexander Garden Forgie. As with most structures in the gardens they are listed buildings.

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position on the Castle Rock. Archaeologists have established human occupation of the rock since at least the Iron Age (2nd century AD), although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until 1633. From the 15th century the castle's residential role declined, and by the 17th century it was principally used as military barracks with a large garrison. Its importance as a part of Scotland's national heritage was recognised increasingly from the early 19th century onwards, and various restoration programmes have been carried out over the past century and a half. As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite Rising of 1745. Research undertaken in 2014 identified 26 sieges in its 1100-year-old history, giving it a claim to having been "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world"

The castle, in the care of Historic Scotland, is Scotland's most-visited paid tourist attraction, with over 1.4 million visitors in 2013. As the backdrop to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo during the annual Edinburgh International Festival the castle has become a recognisable symbol of Edinburgh and of Scotland and indeed, it is Edinburgh's most frequently visited visitor attraction—according to the Edinburgh Visitor Survey, more than 70% of leisure visitors to Edinburgh visited the castle. Castle Website

Ref: DP375

Gallery: Buildings

Autumn in Edinburgh

Edinburgh.

Country: Scotland

United Kingdom.

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