Located at the east end of George Street,
the construction of St Andrew’s Square began in 1772
as the first part of the New Town - designed by architect James
Craig (1774 – 1795).
The New Town itself is viewed as a masterpiece of city
planning, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and to this day
retains much of its neo-classical architecture.
When built, St Andrew’s Square quickly became one
of the most desirable residential areas of Edinburgh, but
as the 19th century came to a close the square evolved
into the commercial capital of the city. Even today it
remains one of the major financial centres of Scotland
and indeed claims to be the richest area of its size in
the whole of the nation.
Dominating the centre of the Square is the Melville Monument,
commemorating Henry Dundas, the first Viscount
Melville (1742 – 1811) and surrounding this
are the St Andrew’s Square Gardens.
Used as a transport hub for a number of years, the Edinburgh
Bus Station – formerly the St Andrew’s Square
Bus Station is located to the east of the Square.
On April the 4th 2008, St. Andrew Square Gardens
were opened to the public for the first time in generations.
The £2.6 million makeover project is
a result of a partnership with The City of Edinburgh Council,
Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian.
New features include two new entrance gates, curved footpaths
linking to the new entrances, a reflective pool in the south
west corner, floodlit trees and a glass café pavillion.
The open space is mainly used by the public to relax but
is also used occasionally for public exhibitions and events.