George IV Bridge

George IV Bridge, looking north towards the Royal Mile and, beyond, the coppered-dome of the headquarters of the Bank of Scotland. The junction with Chambers Street is to the right and the crowd on the left surround the statue of Greyfriars Bobby

George IV Bridge is an elevated street in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is home to a number of the city's important public buildings. Measuring 300 metres in length, the bridge was constructed between 1829 and 1832 as part of the Improvement Act of 1827.[1] Named after King George IV, it was designed by architect Thomas Hamilton (1784 - 1858) to connect the South Side district of Edinburgh to the New Town. Two of Edinburgh Old Town's traditional streets, Old Bank Close and Liberton's Wynd, had to be demolished for the construction of the bridge.

At the north end of the street, where it joins the Royal Mile (Lawnmarket), sits Lothian Chambers on the east side. Built between 1900 and 1905 as the Midlothian County Buildings, the building was later used by the Scottish Parliament until its permanent home at Holyrood was completed, before being converted to the offices of the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages in 2007. Opposite it, on the west, was a row of Category B listed tenements at 1 - 12 Melbourne Place demolished in 1966-67 to make way for an office building for Midlothian County Council, occupied from 1975 by Lothian Regional Council, designed in 1968 by Robert Matthew of Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall partners. This building was also used by the Scottish Parliament before being cleared to make way for a new development including the Hotel Missoni.

Further south on the street lie the National Library of Scotland and the Edinburgh Central Library, which was constructed with money provided by the Scottish-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Around the middle of the street, where the bridge crosses the historic Cowgate, are located a number of bars and restaurants and takeaways, as well as the ESL institute Wallace College and the Augustine United Church. The former Martyrs' Free Church has been converted to a pub.

At the southern end of the street is the junction with Candlemaker Row, where there is located a statue of Greyfriars Bobby, and is the junction with Chambers Street, where the National Museum of Scotland is located.[2]

The road continues south for a short section, not truly part of the bridge and formerly known as Lindsay Place, to a Y-junction where it diverges to become Bristo Place and Forrest Road, the Bedlam Theatre (former New North Free Kirk church) sits at the meeting point of these two roads. On Bristo Place is located the former Edinburgh Congregational Church which later become the Forest Café.


  1. The foundation stone has been claimed to have been laid in 1827
  2. "Traveller.". The Riverine Grazier (Hay, NSW : 1873 - 1954). Hay, NSW: National Library of Australia. 23 July 1879. p. 2 Supplement: THE RIVERINE GRAZIER. Retrieved 21 January 2016.

Coordinates: 55°56′51″N 3°11′29″W / 55.94750°N 3.19139°W / 55.94750; -3.19139

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