February 6, 2012

0117 UNITED KINGDOM (Scotland) - The Hub - part of Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (UNESCO WHS)

0117 Ramsey Gardens (in the front) and the Hub (in the back)

About the Ramsay Gardens I wrote here, so I'll pass straight to The Hub (former Tolbooth Church), of which can be seen only the steeple, the highest of Edinburgh (73m). Located on the Lawnmarket, just down from the Edinburugh Castle, this Gothic landmark, also known as St John's Highland Church, it was built in 1839-1844 to served as both a parish church and the annual meeting place for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

It was designed in the English Gothic style by J Gillespie Graham and Augustus Pugin, best known for the exterior detailing of the Houses of Parliament at Westminster, London. The spire is framed by the towers of the (later) Free Church of Scotland building across the street. After the congregation moved to Greyfriar's Kirk in 1979, the church lay empty for many years. It was refurbished in the late ‘90s by a local architectural firm, Benjamin Tindall, as the administrative base for the Edinburgh International Festival.

The main public area of the building, sited on the first floor, now houses the Hub's function suite. The reminder of the complex provides a cafe / restaurant and an all-year-round Arts Centre for residents and visitors to the city. In March 2006 the Scottish Parliament temporarily moved into the Hub after the roof over its debating chamber started to fall apart a mere 18 months after the opening of the new parliament building, situated at the foot of the Royal Mile.

The Hub is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, about which I wrote here.

About the stamp
The stamp is the current Royal Mail 1st Class stamp.
Sender: Colin Conlon
Sent from Edinburgh (Scotland / United Kingdom), on 21.11.2011

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