Scott Monument

Submitted by George Farquhar on Thu, 2011-04-28

The Scott Monument is the largest monument to a writer in the world. Sir Walter Scott is commemorated.

There are 287 steps to the top of the Scott Monument, where you can enjoy stunning views of Edinburgh and surrounding areas.

The monument was designed by George Meikle Kemp (1795 – 1844) who was inspired by the architecture of Melrose Abbey and the Chapel of Roslin. It is over 200 feet (61 meters) tall with 287 steps to the four levels which can have spectacular views. The first stone was laid on August 15, 1840, date of birth of Scott, and the opening ceremony took place six years later on the same date.

Watch the 64 statues of characters from the books of Sir Walter Scott, the Edinburgh-born writer, famous for his historical novels. Learn more about the history and how George Meikle Kemp designed this amazing Gothic structure – construction of a prodigious feat of its time. Some of the earliest photographs ever taken showing the construction of the monument in 1840.

The statue at the base of the monument is of Scott, with his dog Maida, by the sculptor Sir John Steell, who carved Italian Carrara marble.

Visitor Information

Location: Princes Street Gardens East, near Waverley Station

Telephone: 0131 529 4068, 0131 556 9536 (for group bookings)
Email: muse…


Opening times:

April through September: Monday – Saturday 10am – 7pm; Sunday 10am – 6pm.
October through March: Monday – Saturday 9am – 4pm; Sunday 10am – 6pm.


Admission is £3, for both adults and children. There are no concessions.


There is no cafe at the Scott Monument, but there are many cafes and restaurants nearby. Audio information is available in French, German, Italian and Spanish.


Access is restricted as the monument has a narrow spiral staircase of 287 steps and there is no wheelchair access.

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