Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


184 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [The Royal Exchange. rest upon the platform, support a pediment, on which the arms of the city of Edinburgh are carved. The drst floor of the main front is laid aut in shops. The upper floors are occupied by the Board of Customs, who have upwards of twenty apartments, for this they pay to the city a rent of A360 a year." Arnot wrote in 1779. The chief access to the edifice is by a very The principal part forms the north side of the square, and extends from east to west, 111 feet over wall, by 51 feet broad. Pillars and arches, supporting a platform, run along the south front, which faces the square, and forms a piazza In the centre, four Corinthian pillars, whose bases costume, and having a curious and mysterious history. It is said-for nothing is known with certainty about it-to have been cast in France, and was shipped from Dunkirk to Leith, where, during the process of unloading, it fell into the harbour, and remained long submerged. It is next heard of as being concealed in a cellar in the city, and in the Scots Magazifie it is referred to thus in 1810 :- '' On Tuesday, the 16th October, a very singular stately stair, of which the well is twenty feet square and sixty deep. Off this open the City Chambers, where the municipal affairs are transacted by the magistrates and council. The Council Chamber contains a fine tronze statue of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, in Roman CLERIHEUGH'S TAVERN.
Volume 1 Page 184
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