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The Regent Arch
Waterloo Place, Edinburgh
associated engineer
Robert Stevenson
date  1815 - 1819
UK era  Georgian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  NT258740
Edinburgh's masonry road bridge known as The Regent Arch carries Waterloo Place across Lower Calton Street. It is part of the picturesque eastern approach to the city planned by Robert Stevenson and architect Playfair, Hamilton & Elliot.
The development-led improvements in this area cover the Regent Road / Waterloo Place and Calton Hill routes, linking Leith Street with the Palace of Holyrood House.
A key element of the Regent Road approach to Princess Street is The Regent Arch, a semicircular arch of 50ft span. It was designed by Stevenson as part of the Waterloo Place building development for which Archibald Elliot was the architect.
Neoclassical in design, with ornamental columned parapets, the arch also serves as a memorial to the victory at Waterloo, the battle of which had taken place a few years earlier. In the centre of the arch on each side of the bridge is a raised section of parapet featuring a triumphal arched opening. At this point, the parapets are 20ft above the footway.
Stevenson wanted to use the word 'engineer' in the foundation stone inscription but as the word couldn't be found in classical Latin, he had to be satisfied with 'architect'.
Another part of this road scheme is also of interest. In front of the Royal High School is an immense retaining wall with rustic stone facing made to look like outcropping rock. It too was designed by Stevenson and built under his direction. It can be seen from the steep footpath leading down to Calton Road.
Architect: Archibald Elliot (Playfair, Hamilton & Elliot)
research: JJ
reference sources   CEH SLB

The Regent Arch