Shakespeare Square: a long gone corner of Edinburgh

Interesting info about the former Shakespeare Square in Edinburgh… and Our Town Stories’ interactive map is absolutely fascinating!

Tales of One City

As you probably know, 2016 will see a host of events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

But did you know that a corner of Edinburgh city centre, now long gone, was named after the bard?

Shakespeare Square, ‘mean in architecture and disreputable in character’, housed the Theatre Royal from 1769 until its demolition in 1859.

Grieves’ 1784 plan of Edinburgh, which you can view in more detail on Our Town Stories, shows exactly where Shakespeare Square was located.

1784 mapWe have several images of the Theatre Royal itself on Capital Collections. This engraving by Thomas Shepherd shows the building as it looked up until 1830. The statue on the point of the roof is of Shakespeare himself.

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John Le Conte’s watercolour below shows how the facade of the theatre was rebuilt and shows a little more of the surrounding area.

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Walter Scott was closely linked…

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