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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


274 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Chambers Street. Britannica? In 1763 he was Treasurer of the Navy, and died at Marseilles in 1777. For some years after that period Minto House was the residence of Sir William Nairne of Dun- ? sinnan, a Judge of the Court of SesGon, who removed there from one he had long occupied, before his promotion to the bench, at the head of the Back Stairs, and in which he had lived as Mr. Nairne, at that terrible period of his family history, when his niece, the beautiful Mrs. Ogilvie, was tried and convicted for murder in 1766. He was the last of his line ; and when he died, in 1811, at an advanced age, his baronetcy became extinct, and a nephew, his sister?s son, assumed the name and arms of Nairne of Dunsinnan. The principal entrance to Minto House in those days was from the Horse Wynd, when it was noted chiefly as a remnant of the dull and antiquated grandeur of a former age. It was next divided into a series of small apartments, and let to people in the humblest rank of life. But it was not fated to be devoted long to such uses, for the famous surgeon, Mr. (afterwards Professor) Syme, had it fitted up in 1829 as a surgical hospital for street accidents and other cases, Mr. Syme retained the old name of Minto House, and the surgery and practice acquired a world-wide celebrity, Long the scent of demonstrations and prelections of eminent extramural lecturers, it was swept away in the city improvements, and its?successor is now included in Chambers Street, and has become the 6? New Medical Scliool of Minto House,? so that the later traditions of tbe site ~ l l be perpetuated. Among other edifices demolished in Argyle Square, together with the Gaelic? Church, was the Meeting House of the Scottish Baptists, seated foi 240-one of two sections of that congregation established in I 766. Proceeding westward, from the broad site 01 what was once Adam Square, and the other two squares of which we have just given the history, Chambers Street opens before us, a thousand feet in length, With an average of seventy in breadth, extending from the South Bridge to that of George IV. It was begun in 1871 under the City Improve ment Act, and was worthily named in honour 01 the Lord Provost Chambers, the chief promoter 01 the new city improvement scheme. With the then old squares it includes the sites of North College Street, and parts of sites of the Horse and College Wynds, and is edificed into four largc blocks, three or four storeys high, in ornate example: of the Italian style, with some specimens of the French. Chambers Street was paved with wooden blocks in 1876, at a cost of nearly A6,000, and on that occasion 322,000 blocks were used. On the south side three hundred and sixty feet OF Chambers Street are occupied by the north front. of the University. Over West College Street-of old, the link between the Horse Wynd and. Potterrow-is thrown a glass-covered bridge, connecting the University with the Museum of Science. and Art, which, when completed, will occupy the remaining 400 feet of the north side to where ?? The Society ?-besides one of Heriot?s schools-exists. now in name. This great and noble museum is in the Venetian Renaissance style, from a design by Captain Fowkes of the Royal Engineers. The laying ofthe foundation-stone of this structure, on the 23rd of October, 1861, was the last public act of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort. It is founded on plans similar to those of the Interna-- tional Exhibition buildings in London, and, by theyear 1870, contained-a great hall, 105 feet long, seventy wide, and seventy-seven in height ; a hail of natural history, 130 feet long, fifty-seven feet. wide, and seventy-seven in height ; a south hall, seventy feet long, fifty feet wide, and seventy-seven, in height ; and two other great apartments. When completed it will be one of the noblest buildings in Scotland. In 1871-4 the edifice underwent extension, the. great hall being increased to the length of 270 feet,. and other apartments being added, which, when finished, will have a measurement of 400 feet in. length, 200 feet in width, with an average of ninety in height Already it contains vast collections in, natural history, in industrial art, in manufacture, and in matters connected with physical science. The great aim of the architect has been to have every part well-lighted, and for this purpose a glass roof with open timberwork has been adopted, and the details of the whole structure made as light as possible. Externally the front is constructed of red and white sandstone, and internally a more elaborate kind of decoration has been carried out. Altogether the effect of the building is light, rich,. and elegant. .In the evenings, when open, it is lighted up by means of: horizontal iron rods in the roof studded with gas burners, the number of jets. exceeding 5,000. The great hall or saloon is a singularly noble apartment, with two galleries The collection of industrial art here comprises illustrations of nearly all the chief manufactures of the British Isles and foreign countries, and the lafgest collection in the world of the raw products of commerce. It possesses sections for mining and quarrying, for ?
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&rnbers Street.] INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM. 275 metalhrgy and constructive materials, for ceramic .and vitreous manufactures, the decorative arts, guise of various animals, seek to aid 0; hinder its ' ascent. textile manufactures, food, education, chemistry, materia medica, photography, &c. The whole floor is covered with articles illustrative of the arts of construction, such as products .of the clay-fields, fire and brick clays, and terra- -cottas. Cements and artificial stones stand next in order, followed by illustrations of the mode of quarrying real stone ; adjoining these are stones dressed for building purposes, and others carved for ornamental uses. Oriental stone carving is illustrated by a set of magnificent plaster casts from one of the- most famous gates of Delhi, made by order of the Indian Government. The sanitary appliances used in building are likewise exhibited here ; also slate .and its uses, with materials for surface decorations, .and woods for house timber and furniture. Among the more prominent objects are large .models of Scottish lighthouses, presented by the Commissioners of Northern Lights, of St. Peter's at Rome, St Paul's at London, and the Bourse in Berlin, together with a singularly elegant carton- .pierre ceiling ornament, and finely designed mantelpiece, that were originally prepared for Montagu House. In the centre of the hall are some beautiful .specimens of large guns and breechloading fieldpieces, with balls and shells, and a fine model of -the bridge over the Beulah in Westmoreland. A hall devoted to the exhibition of flint and clay products, and illustrations of glass and pottery, is in the angle behind the great and east saloons. 'The art Potteries of Lambeth are here represented by beautiful vases and plaques, and other articles in the style of old Flemish stoneware. There are .also fine examples of the Frenchfuiencr, by Deck -of Paris, including a splendid dish painted by Anker, and very interesting samples of Persian -pottery as old as t b fourteenth century. There is a magnificent collection of Venetian .glass, comprising nearly 400 pieces, made by the Abbot Zanetti of Murano, in Lombardy; while modern mosaic work is exemplified by a beautiful ,reredos by Salviati, representing the Last Supper. The beauty of ancient tile work is here exhibited in some exquisite fragments from Constantinople, These formed, originally, part of the .several decorations of the mosque of Broussa, in Anatolia, which was destroyed by an earthquake. In rich blue on a white ground they display a variety of curious conceptions, one of which represents the human soul shooting aloft as a tall =cypress tree, while good and evil spirits, under the Near these are placed, first, illustrations of colliery work, then of metallurgical operations, and lastly, the manufacture of metals. The first, or lower gallery of this hall, contains specimens of the arts in connection with clothing, and the textile fabrics generally and their processes ; wood, silk, cotton, hemp, linen, jute, felt, silk, and straw-hat making, leather, fur, and also manufactures from bone, ivory, horn, tortoise-shell, feathers, hair-gut, gutta-percha, india-rubber, &c. ; and the upper gallery contains the collection illustrative of chemistry, the chemical arts, materia medica, and philosophical instruments. The department of machinery contains a speci men, presented by the inventor. of Lister's wool combing machine, which, by providing the means of combing long wools mechanically, effected an enormous change in the worsted trade of Yorkshire. * In the front of the east wing is the lecture room, having accommodation for 800 sitters Above it is a large apartment, seventy feet in length by fifty broad, containing a fine display of miner'als and fossils. One of the most interesting features in this department is the large and valuable collection of fossils which belonged to Hugh Miller. The ethnological specimens are ranged in hahdsome cases around the walls. The natural his. tor). hall contains on its ground floor a general collection of mammalia, including a complete grouping of British animals. The first gallery contains an ample collection of birds and shells, &c; the upper gallery, reptiles and fishes. In the hall is suspended the skeleton of a whale seventy-nine feet in length. On the north side of Chambers Street is the new Watt Institution and School of Arts, erected in lieu of that of which we have already given a history in Adam Square. (VoL I., pp. 379, 380.) It was erected in 1872-3 from designs by David Rhind, and is two storeys in height, with a pavilion at its west end, and above its entrance porch the handsome statue of James Watt which stood in the demolished square. Beside this institution stands the Phrenological Museum, on the north side, forming a conjoint building With it, and containing a carefully assorted collection of human skulls some of them being of great antiquity. It was formerly in Surgeon Square, High School Yard. The new Free Tron Church stands here, nearly Sec "Great Industries of Great Britain." VoL I., pp. 107-8; II., b
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