National Monument, Edinburgh

National Monument, Edinburgh

National Monument, Edinburgh

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The National Monument, colloquially known as Edinburgh's Disgrace, in the city of Edinburgh is Scotland's memorial to those who died fighting for the United Kingdom in the Napoleonic Wars.

The monument dominates the top of Calton Hill, just to the east of Edinburgh's New Town. It was designed by Charles Robert Cockerell and his collaborator William Henry Playfair and is modelled upon the Parthenon in Athens. Construction started in 1826, and the building is notable for being only partially completed.


As early as 1817, calls were made for the construction of a monument in Edinburgh to commemorate the fallen in the Napoleonic War. In January 1822, a proposal was put forward to 'erect a facsimile of the Parthenon' at a cost of some £42,000. The appeal found support amongst many prominent Edinburgh residents such as Sir Walter Scott, Henry, Lord Cockburn and Francis, Lord Jeffrey.Youngson, A.J., The Making of Classical Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press (Edinburgh, 1966; Reprinted 1975), pp. 159-161

Originally, the building was planned to have extensive catacombs in the area supporting the main structure, possibly to provide a burial place for significant figures.

Sixteen months after the initial appeal, only £16,000 had been found with the possibility of a £10,000 grant from Parliament. In 1826, the building was finally commissioned and work...
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