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The Romantic Movement

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There remains the third great force which has affected the modern city. The fires of the Romantic movement, lit towards the end of the eighteenth century, were fanned to flame by the genius of Sir Walter Scott; while the contemporary and not unrelated interest in Greece led to enthusiastic attempts to revive the spirit of her ancient architecture.

Among the early monuments of the Romantic School, were St. John's Church, Princes Street (1818); St. Paul's, York Place; and the fine spire of the Tolbooth Church in Castlehill, designed by Pugin; as well as in the restoration of the exterior of St. Giles' Cathedral.

Later important examples are found in the Scott Monument, by Kemp; St. Mary's Cathedral, by Sir Gilbert Scott; and in the Thistle Chapel and National War Memorial, by Sir R. Lorimer, where great opportunity has been given to the craftsmen of the city.

To the Greek Revival we owe the Parthenon Columns on the Calton Hill; the Burns Monument, in curious contrast to Scott's; the Royal High School, designed by Thomas Hamilton; and the Galleries on the Mound, by William Playfair.

The middle of the nineteenth century was marked by a great activity in educational building, and Stewart's, Donaldson's, and Fettes' Schools all show the Romantic influence in full swing.

By way of contrast, the great Banking and Insurance interests found appropriate homes in buildings conceived in the manner of the Italian Renaissance, as seen in the Bank of Scotland and in St. Andrew Square and George Street.

The influence of Ruskin is found in the National Portrait Gallery, by Sir R. Anderson, who took care that his building should be more than a shell, and provided great space for sculpture and painted decoration.

Other examples of his work may be seen in the Catholic Apostolic Church, Mansfield Place, with its fine decoration by Mrs. Traquair, and in the Medical School and McEwan Hall of the University.

Further away, near Tweedsmuir, is the Talla Reservoir, the biggest achievement of its kind in the south-east of Scotland. What Hugh Miller wrote of Glencorse applies with striking force to the Talla Reservoir. The run to the Talla is very scenic and is recommended.

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