General plan of the City, Castle and Suburbs of Edinburgh. William Faden & Thomas Jefferys, London, 1773

General plan of the City, Castle and Suburbs of Edinburgh.
William Faden & Thomas Jefferys, London, 1773

Edinburgh is depicted six years after the plans for its New Town were produced, and the plan shows the Bridge linking the Old Town on its linear ridge to the planned New Town, which until the draining of the Nor Loch on the north side of the Old Town between 1759 and 1763 had not allowed ready expansion across the narrow defile between the two.

The map shows the beginnings of building in the New Town in the area of St Andrews Square (those buildings built are shaded in a dark grey), and in the extreme south of the plan we see the beginnings of building round George Square (again shaded a dark grey), today housing a major part of the University of Edinburgh.  A useful key to the Closes on both sides of the High Street is included, and the engraver took advantage of the open space of the Calton Hill to use it as a space to engrave his Key to Public Buildings.  The engraver of the map, Thomas Jefferys, was English, as was the publisher, William Faden, and were both based in London.

The provenance of this map is particularly interesting as it forms one of several which originally belonged to WC Mylne of the famous family of Edinburgh Master Masons.