Princes Street Garden

Nor Loch and the Princes Street Garden

Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland, is a beautiful public park that offers a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. However, beneath the lush greenery and picturesque views lies a dark and gloomy history. The park was built on top of the Nor Loch, a loch (lake) that was once a vital part of Edinburgh’s history.

The Nor Loch was a large body of water that stretched from Edinburgh Castle to the present-day location of Waverley Station. It was used for a variety of purposes, including as a source of drinking water, as a place for fishing, and as a defensive barrier for the city. However, the Nor Loch also had a darker side. It was used as a dumping ground for refuse and as a place to dispose of the bodies of criminals and plague victims.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Nor Loch had become a source of disease and a blight on the city. As Edinburgh’s population grew, the city’s leaders recognized the need to drain the loch and reclaim the land. The process of draining the loch was a long and difficult one, but it was finally completed in the early 19th century.

Today, Princes Street Gardens sits on top of the former Nor Loch, providing a beautiful and peaceful space for visitors to enjoy. But the dark history of the loch is still evident in the park, with several monuments and sculptures that pay tribute to the loch’s past. One of the most striking examples is the Scott Memorial, which features a statue of Sir Walter Scott with his back turned to the loch, symbolizing the city’s rejection of its past.

The park also has several other monuments, such as statues of Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott, which were erected to commemorate the two famous Scottish poets. The park also provides panoramic views of Edinburgh Castle, and it’s one of the most popular spots for tourists to take photos.

In conclusion, Princes Street Gardens is a beautiful and peaceful public park in the heart of Edinburgh, but it also holds a dark and gloomy history, as it was built on top of the Nor Loch, which was once a source of disease and a blight on the city. The park provides visitors a chance to appreciate the beauty of the city while also remembering its past.