Candlemaker Row/George 1V Bridge – Pen-and-ink in a Moleskine Sketchbook

This is a historic part of the city with much to see. I’ve already posted some sketches of some of these places. Hopefully, with this, you will be able to tie these all together. I’ve sketched this as it’s a good tourists’ starting point taking in much of the old town with plenty of restaurants, pubs museums etc. Its also right outside Greyfriar’s Art Shop where I spend most of my hard earned cash.

Candlemaker Row, on the left, leads down to some of the oldest parts of Edinburgh. Turn left to enter the Grassmarket which used to be the place where public executions took place . Turn right and you enter the Cowgate.

At the top of Candlemaker Row I’ve attempted to sketch Greyfriar’s Bobby, the Skye Terrier who guarded his master’s grave for fourteen years. This sits opposite Greyfriar’s Kirk and Churchyard – sometimes known as Greyfriar’s Burial ground. At one point, during the period of plague in the 1700s, so many people were interned here that the ground was unstable and wobbly when walking on it.

Behind Bobby’s statue runs George 1V Bridge, heading towards Edinburgh’s Royal Mile with the Mound and Prince’s Street beyond. The Cowgate runs under George 1V Bridge and, hopefully, the scene describes how Edinburgh was built upwards to cram as many dwellings as possible into a small space. Yesterday’s Civil Engineers must have been very sure of the stability of their foundations as well as their ability to construct some of the first high-rise dwellings some more than 14 high.

Behind Bobby’s head is the National Library of Scotland. Opposite the National Library are the Scottish Library and the City’s main public library, the first Carnegie public library. Both of these buildings sit above the Cowgate, underneath.

The building, immediately in the foreground, used to have the best second hand bookshop ever but it is long gone. Opposite this lie the National Museums of Scotland in Chambers Street. Walk along Chambers Street and you will meet the other great “Bridge” in the city – The South Bridge which heads toward the North Bridge and the east end of Prince’s Street.

My sketch got rather wet which explains the crinkled surface, showing that it sometimes rains here. Hope this has not confused you all. Perhaps its far better to actually visit this place – but wait until they stop digging up the centre of the town to install the new tramway system.