National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Architectural drawing of tenement property, 1793

Architectural drawing of tenement property, 1793

This unattributed drawing shows the design for new buildings being planned and erected on Hanover Street, part of the newly developing area of Edinburgh in the late 18th century. Like many other streets in the New Town, Hanover Street was named in honour of the Hanoverian monarchs on the throne at the time of design and construction. By the end of the century, many of the wealthy and middle classes had already left the dark, cramped Old Town for the newly erected tenements and large houses off Princes Street. 

Not everyone was complimentary about the buildings in the New Town, as James Grant described them in ‘Cassell’s Old and New Edinburgh’ in 1880:

‘Originally the houses of [James] Craig’s new city were one plain and intensely monotonous plan and elevation… with a sunk area in front, enclosed by iron railings… and they only differed by the stone being more finely polished, as the streets crept westwards.’

Credit: Crown copyright, NRS, RHP81968 (Link to the Online Catalogue entry)