The Edinburgh Burns' Monument was designed by the architect Thomas Hamilton (1784 - 1858) in 1830.
The design is a variant of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens. The circular design is similar to that of the earlier monument at Alloway, Ayrshire, by the same architect.
It had been agreed with Edinburgh City Council that the Grand Lodge of Scotland would consecrate the laying of the Foundation Stone in 1832 but the country was in turmoil due to agitation for parliamentary reform. The authorities, fearful that a large public gathering could become disorderly, cancelled the Masonic Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony despite strong protests from Grand Lodge.
That Foundation Stone Ceremony never took place. This historical error was finally corrected almost 180 years after the intended event when the Provincial Grand Master, Maurice Wilson, concecrated the Foundation Stone on Saturday, 27th March 2010.
The story of how the monument came to be built is interesting. One John Forbes was obsessed with building a life size statue of Burns in Edinburgh. Whilst he was in Bombay, India, during 1812 he started to raise funds for the project.
More to follow...