St Andrew Square

Edinburgh, UK

St Andrew Square

Located at the Eastern end of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage New Town, the re-vamped St Andrew Square is a public square distinguished by a Roman column at its centre — the 41 foot tall Melville monument.

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Following a £2.6 million investment by the City of Edinburgh Council, the gardens at St Andrew Square — which date back to 1957 — re-opened to the public in April 2008. Gillespies' new design retains the integrity of the original historic square whilst introducing new elements to accommodate contemporary usage patterns.

"The vision for St Andrew Square represents a triumph for partnership working in Edinburgh City Centre. Many thanks go to Gillespies and other members of the design team, who's approach to this sensitive commission within Edinburgh's World Heritage Site has been exemplary."

Gordon Reid, Chief Executive, Edinburgh City Centre Management Company

Two new entrance gates and footpaths have been established in the southwest and northeast corners, alongside a reflective pool framed by waterside planting and a new café pavilion. The design provides a generous and elegant central open space with its focus being the Melville Monument — built in memory of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville. The layout recognises the importance of this column in reinstating the visual connection between two of Edinburgh’s main shopping streets, and in particular, links Princes Street with the Harvey Nichols department store.

The level of success of the scheme is underlined by the level of use of the gardens, which were immediately adopted by the public both as a place for relaxation and as a delightful new route through the city.


  • 2011 Landscape Institute Awards: Best Landscape Design under 1HA
  • 2009 Scottish Planning Awards — Commendation
  • 2009 Civic Trust Commendation - St Andrew's Square
  • 2009 Landscape Institute Awards: Best Landscape Design under 1ha
  • 2009 Landscape Institutes President’s Award