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Tuesday 27 December 2011: Catherine Sinclair Monument

When I lived in the New Town I was not aware of this edifice. However, having driven past it many times over the past few years, mainly after dark, I have become intrigued as to what it represented. Today I persuaded Mr Flum to stop the car and allow me a few photos of it, following up with a detailed study of the closeup photos of the script and an internet search.

This is what I have learned:-

It is a memorial to Catherine Sinclair, standing on the corner of North Charlotte Street and St. Colme Street (towards the west of Queen Street). It is built in the style of a Victorian Gothic spire, was designed by Edinburgh architect David Bryce (1803 - 1876) and built by architect John Rhind (1836 - 1889) in 1866-1868.
The monument is grade A listed.

The full inscription reads (as far as I can make out):

Catherine Sinclair
Born 17 April 1800
Died 6 August 1864

She was the friend of all children and through her book "Holiday House" speaks to them still.

Besides success in her writings, which were many and popular, she was an early pioneer in philanthropy, her volunteer brigade for the boys of Leith was the first of its kind, she initiated Cooking Depots for working men, and erected the first Drinking fountain in Edinburgh, her Hall for lectures and her work amongst cabmen endeared her name to different sections of her fellow citizens.
This monument was raised by some of her many friends, the inscription except the name and dates was added in 1901 by her affectionate nephew
Sir Tollemache Sinclair Bart
of Ulbster Caithness-shire.

I have never heard of 'Holiday House' so must look out for a copy. Catherine died in Kensington and is buried at St John's Episcopal church in Edinburgh's West End.


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