Take a trip through the streets of Lost Edinburgh

Lost Edinburgh by Liz Hanson is a beautifully illustrated and informative exploration of our capital’s lost landscape.

Like many British cities, the metropolis of Edinburgh has experienced multiple metamorphoses over the years. Although a walk down today’s Royal Mile may give the wanderer a tantalising taste of what existed before, in reality, many historic buildings have been lost due to fire, slum clearance, road building and previous insensitivity to the value of conservation.

From the remnants of the medieval old town to the more recent St James development on Princes Street, Liz Hanson ensures that no cobblestone is left unturned as she takes the reader on an insightful journey through the city’s well-known landmarks and previously undiscovered secret spaces.

The historical detail of the book is offset by fascinating illustrations which allow the reader to envisage the world which once existed. Among various nuggets of historical information, we learn that the North Loch which was originally created by James II in 1450 to defend Edinburgh Castle was also at various stages a recreational ice-skating and boating lake, a decorative home for swans in the seventeenth century, and, more gruesomely, the site for drowning suspected “witches” during the witch trial era.

A handy guide for those looking for key history about Edinburgh’s architectural and civic past.

Lost Edinburgh, by Liz Hanson, published by Amberley, £14.99.

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