Heritage case studies: Scotland
Heritage case studies: Scotland

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Heritage case studies: Scotland

3 Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

3.1 Overview

In 1995, a large portion of central Edinburgh – the architecturally significant medieval and early Renaissance ‘Old Town’ and the Georgian ‘New Town’ – were included in the World Heritage List. Capital of Scotland since the fifteenth century, Edinburgh's unique character, a result of its particular combination of medieval fortress city and eighteenth-century neoclassical Georgian city, was given as the reason for its World Heritage status. The ‘Justification by State Party’ noted:

The particular nature of Edinburgh's duality is unusual: on the one hand, on a high ridge is the ancient Old Town, while in contrast, and set apart on a fresh site, is the 18th century New Town. The former is on a spectacular site, the skyline punched through by the castle, the soaring neo-Gothic spire of Highland Tolbooth St John's and the robust, nationally symbolic, Imperial crown spire of St Giles, a feast of ancient architecture looking down on the New Town, which in contrast is a calm sea of ordered classicism, the whole framed and articulated by neoclassical buildings of world-class distinction.

(World Heritage List Advisory Body Evaluation, 1994, p. 78)

  • World Heritage List: Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

  • Justification by State Party

Edinburgh New Town, view 1
(Photo: © Tim Benton) ©
Photo: © Tim Benton
Figure 5: Edinburgh New Town, view 1
Edinburgh New Town, view 2
(Photo: © Tim Benton) ©
Photo: © Tim Benton
Figure 6 Edinburgh New Town, view 2
Edinburgh New Town, view 3
(Photo: © Tim Benton) ©
Photo: © Tim Benton
Figure 7 Edinburgh New Town, view 3
A180_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371