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
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.
When the new Edinburgh Trams network comes into
operation, the Square will acquire a tram station and will
be the station closest to Edinburgh Waverley Train Station.
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.