Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


2 14 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. . [Castle Terrace. Place, and now chiefly used as a coal dep8t. Some of the merchants having coal offices here are among the oldest and most extensive firms in the city, one having been established so far back as 1784 and having now business ramifications so ample as to require a complete system of private telegraphs for the transmission of orders between their various offices and coal stores throughout Edinburgh and the suburbs. This station is reached from the East Princes Street Gardens by a tunnel 3,000 feet in length, passing under the West Church burial ground and the foundations of several streets, and serves as a port for the North British system at the West End. In its vicinity, on the north side of the way, is a large Winter Garden at the corner between the Glasgow Road and Coates Gardens. It was formed in 1871, and has a southern front 130 feet in length, with a main entrance 50 feet wide, 30 feet long, and surmounted by a dome 65 feet in height. A little westward of it is West Coates Established Church, built in the later Pointed style, in 1869, with a tower and spire 130 feet in height. It cost &7,500, and is seated for go0 persons. The United Presbyterian Churches in Palmerston Place (the old line of Bell's Mills Loan) and Dalry Road were opened in 1875, and cost respectively ,f;13,000 and 'L5,ooo. The former is an imposing edifice in the classic Italian style, with a hexastyle portico, carrying semicircular headed arches and flanked by towers IOO feet in height. On the gentle swell of the ground, about 600 yards westward of the Haymarket, amid a brilliant urban landscape, stands Donaldson's Hospital, in magnitude and design one of the grandest edifices of Edinburgh, and visible from a thousand points all round the environs to the westward, north, and south. It sprang from a bequest of about ~210,000 originally by James Donaldson of . Broughton Hall, a printer, at one time at the foot of the ancient Rest Bow, who died in the year 1830. It was erected between the years 1842 and 1851, after designs by W. H. Playfair, at a cost of about ~IOO,OOO, and forms a hollow quadrangle of 258 feet by 207 exteriorly, and 176 by 164 interiorly. It is a modified variety of a somewhat ornate Tudor style, and built of beautiful freestone. It has four octagonal five-storeyed towers, each IZO feet in height, in the centre of the main front, and four square towers of four storeys each at the corners; and most profuse, graceful, and varied - ornamentations on all the four fapdes, and much in the interior. It was speciallyvisited and much admired by Queen Victoria in 1850, before it was quite completed, and now maintains and ' educates poor boys and girls. The building can accommodate 150 children of each sex, of whom a considerable per centage are both deaf and dumb. According to the rules of this excellent institution, those eligible for admission are declared to be-'' I. Poor children of the name of Donaldson or Marshall, if appearing to the governors to be deserving. 2. Such poor children as shall appear to be in the most destitute circumstances and the most deserving of admission." None are received whose parents are able to support them. The children are clothed and maintained in the hospital, and are taught such useful branches of a plain education as will fit the boys for trades and the girls for domestic service. The age of admission is from seven to nine, and that of leavhg the hospital fourteen years. The Governors are the Lord Justice-General, the Lord Clerk Register, the Lord Advocate, the Lord Provost, the Principal of the University, the senior minister of the Established Church, the ministers of St. Cuthbert's and others ex-officio. The Castle Terrace, of recent erection, occupies the summit of a steep green bank westward of the fortress and overhanging a portion of the old way from the West Port to St. Cuthbert's. A tenement at its extreme north-western corner is entirely occupied by the Staff in Scotland. Here are the offices of the Auxiliary Artillery, Adjutant- General, Royal Engineers, the medical staff, and the district Con~missariat. Southward of this stands St. Mark's Chapel, erected in 1835, the only Unitarian place of worship in Edinburgh. It cost only Lz,ooo, and is seated for 700. It has an elegant interior, and possesses a iine organ. Previous to 1835 its congregation met in a chapel in Young Street. Near it, in Cambridge Street, stands the new Gaelic Free Church, a somewhat village-like erection, overshadowed by the great mass of the United Presbyterian Theological Hall. The latter was built in 1875 for the new Edinburgh or West End Theatre, from designs by Mr. Pilkington, an English architect, who certainly succeeded in supplying an edifice alike elegant and comfortable. In its fiqt condition the auditorium measured 70 feet square within the walls, and the accommodation was as follows-pit and stalls, 1,ooo ; dress circle and private boxes, 400; second circle, 600; gallery, 1,000; total, 3,000. The stage was expansive, and provided with all the
Volume 4 Page 214
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print