Edinburgh Castle and the Grassmarket from Candlemaker Row
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Edinburgh Castle and the Grassmarket from Candlemaker Row
  • Scottish Art
This watercolour shows Edinburgh's Grassmarket beneath the Castle Hill at the end of the day, as the setting sun casts long shadows and a red glow across the city. The square structure to the right is the Bowfoot Well, a simple ashlar box with a panelled concave pyramid top and a swagged urn finial. Dating from 1681, the Bowfoot Well was one of ten wells that supplied the city with water. It still stands today, but is no longer connected to the water supply. Just behind the well was the site of the public gallows. The whole of the south side of the Grassmarket was eventually pulled down and renovated by the end of the nineteenth century.

Glossary Open

Ashlar

Blocks of dressed stone, which are normally used on the fronts of buildings. The blocks must have even faces and squared corners, and are laid in horizontal courses with fine joints. The faces of the stone are generally smooth, but they can be tooled for decorative effect.

Finial

An ornament topping an architectural feature such as a gable or canopy, also found on furniture and decorative objects.

Watercolour

A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Ashlar, Finial, Watercolour

Details

  • Acc. No. D 2447
  • Medium Pen, brown ink, watercolour and bodycolour over pencil on paper
  • Size 22.90 x 33.20 cm
  • Credit William Findlay Watson Bequest 1881