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Parks: Nicolson Square

By City of Edinburgh Council

By City of Edinburgh Council

By City of Edinburgh Council

By City of Edinburgh Council

By Contributor City of Edinburgh Council

By Contributor City of Edinburgh Council

By Contributor City of Edinburgh Council

By Contributor City of Edinburgh Council

Spring 2015

By Contributor Mike Shields

By Contributor Mike Shields

By Contributor Mike Shields

Background
These small but popular gardens are located on the southern boundary of the Capital's World Heritage Site and have seen many changes over the years. The Square is one of a collection of small popular garden areas within this side of the city, namely St Patrick Square Garden, Hill Square, Deaconess Garden and Bauks View. All of them are situated only a few minutes walk away. In 2008 major refurbishment of the square took place. This involved the removal of the older cherry trees which bordered the site and which had almost reached the end of their lifespan; and the introduction of new railings, new pathways and new trees to replace the cherries.
Also, up-lighters were installed, to add character to the gardens in the dark evenings. New seating was installed; the monuments were given a clean up and the whole garden landscaped with both grass and natural bedding schemes. These are planted up with many different varieties and over 3000 spring bulbs which give a very welcome touch of colour to the spring months.
History and heritage
Next to the Nicolson Street section of the gardens is the ‘Brass Iron Founders' pillar. It features the biblical character, Tubal Cain, the legendary founder of brass and iron making skills. This surmounts a square-sided bronze pillar decorated with coats of arms on shields arranged vertically.

Coats of arms on shields, top to bottom:
East side (facing street): England/ Perth/ Linlithgow/ Kirkcaldy/ Jedburgh/ Paisley
South side: Ireland/ Edinburgh/ Stirling/ Ayr/ Inverness/ Brassfounders
West side: Imperial/ Dundee/ St. Andrews/ Montrose/ Dunfermline/ Leith
North side: Scotland/ Aberdeen/ Glasgow/ Dumfries/ Dumbarton/ Greenock

The monument was commissioned for the 1886 International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry by the Edinburgh and Leith Brass Founders. Following the exhibition, the pillar was moved from the Meadows to Nicolson Square

The main focal point of the gardens is the fountain sited in the centre. This is a delightful feature with several tiers but unfortunately has been out of use for many years.
Public Toilets
Nicolson Square
Opening times: 10am-10pm.
Disabled access. All toilets for the disabled require a RADAR key for access.
Visitor information
Lothian Buses: 2,3,5,7,8,14,29,30,31,33,37,41,47,49,60,N3,N30,N31,N37
Facilities
GardensSeatingMonument
Contact Details
Nicolson Square
EH8 9BH
0131 529 5151
southeast.locality@edinburgh.gov.uk