Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


THE NORMAL SCHOOL. 295 George IV. Bridge.] highly qualified examiners, on every point of which it takes cognisance. It grants annually ten bursaries of L z o each, and five of LIO each, to be competed for by pupils of schools approved .of by the directors. The Society?s vested capital now? amounts to &o,ooo, and its annual revenue reaches more than &,~oo, besides the receipts for general shows, The Argyle Fund, for the education of young Highland gentlemen for the navy, now amounts to A5,639, and was instituted by John fifth Duke of Argyle, the original president of the Society. From its chambers, No. 3, George IV. Bridge, surveying a width of range and multiplicity of objects worthy of its wealth and intellect, its opulence of power and resource, the Soqiety promotes the erection of towns and bridges, the formation of roads, the experiments and enterprises of agriculture, the improvement of farm stock, the sheltering processes of planting, the extension of fisheries, the introduction of manufactures, the adaptation of machinery to all useful arts, the ready co-operation of ? local influence with legislative and public measures, the diffusion of practical knowledge of all that may tend to the general good of the Scottish nation, and the consolidation of the Highlanders and Lowlanders into one great fraternal community. ? The Society awards large and numerous premiums to stimulate desiderated enterprises, and in 1828 began the publication of the Quarter0 lown d of Agridtztre, for prize essays and the dissemination of the newest practical information ; it patronises great annual cattle shows successively in different towns, and by means of them excites and directs a stirring and creditable spirit of emulation among graziers, and, in general, it keeps in play upon the community, a variety of influences which, as far as regards mere earthly well-being, have singularly transformed and beautified its character.? Its arms are a figure of Caledonia on a pedestal, between two youths-one a Highland reaper, the other a ploughboy-being crowned. The motto is, Sem$er armis nunc et industria. The Highland Society?s hall and chamber form a very symmetrical and also ornamental edifice, with a beautiful sculpture of its coat of arms from the chisel of A.. H. Kitchie. It formerly contained a most interesting agricultural museum, which has been removed elsewhere. Simil7.r societies on the same model have since been established-by England in 1838, and by Ireland in 1841. The other edifice referred to, the Sheriff?s Court Buildings, contiguous to the open arches over the Cowgate, was erected in 1865-8, from designs by David Bryce, at a cost of more than A44,ooo. - It rises from a low basement, with an extensive and imposing flank to the south, and presents in its fapde an ornate variety of the Italian style of architecture ; but within exhibits simply the usual features of legal courts, with three subordinate official chambers, unless we except the Society hall of the solicitors-at-law, a minor legal body in Edinburgh, which was incorporated by royal charter in 1780, and only certain members of which are qualified to act as agents before the Supreme Courts. Johnstone Terrace, King?s Road, and Castle Terrace crossing the King?s Bridge, the foundation stone of which was laid in 1827, unitedly extend about go0 yards along the southern limb, or southwestern skirt of the Castle Rock, connecting the head of the Lawnmarket with the Lothian Road, at a point about 180 yards south of the west end of Princes Street. These were formed between 1825 and 1836, to afford improved access to the Old Town from the westward. They are collectively called the New Western Approach, and apart from being a very questionable improvement as regards artistic taste, have destroyed the amenity of the Castle Rock, and lessened its strength as a fortress. In Johnstone Terrace, to which we shall confine ourselves for the present, at the eastern end, resting at the corner of the Old West Bow, is St. John?s Free Church, a handsome edifice in a mixed style of early Gothic It was built from designs furnished by Robert Hamilton in 1847, and is chiefly famous for its congregation having enjoyed for some years the ministry of the celebrated Dr. Guthrie, and of Dr. Williani Hanna, a graduate of the University of Glasgow, who was ordained to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in 1835, and who is so well known as the author of ?Wycliffe and the Huguenots,? and as the affectionate biographer of Chalmers. Westward of this edifice is St. Columba?s Episcopal church, also a Gothic structure, but of an earlier style, with a low, square battlemented tower; built in 1845. At the cost of about ;GIO,OOO, the Normal School of the Church of Scotland was built westward of it, in 1845, and is a large and handsome edifice. It is called the Normal School, or Church of Scotland Training College. It is under the control and management of the Education Committee of the Church. It is a double college, and like that in Glasgow, trains both masters and mistresses. The course of training extends over two years, and none are admitted as students but those who have passed a preliminary examination ; but the committee exercise their discretion in making their
Volume 2 Page 295
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