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Monuments: Nelson Monument

By City of Edinburgh Council

Commemorates Admiral Lord Nelson and the battle of Trafalgar, which took place on 21 October 1805. The monument resembles an upturned telescope. On the top is a mechanised ball, which is synchronised with the one o'clock gun fired from Edinburgh Castle. This is to give a signal of the correct time to the ships in the Forth. The time mechanism was installed in 1852. The original design of the monument was by Alexander Nasmyth, but this was rejected as being too expensive. The commission was passed to Robert Burn and the foundation stone was laid on 21 October 1807, the second anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. In 1814-16 the base was enclosed in a five-sided structure by Thomas Bonnar (to Burn's design). The carving of the San Josef, found above the main door, was added at this time. The San Josef was a Spanish man of war vessel and the flagship of the Spanish admiral Don Josef de Cordova at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797. In this battle Nelson captured the ship and the admiral was killed. (source:www.rcahms.gov.uk)
Calton Hill