Whispers in Edinburgh: Horse sculptures with veterinary connections
Macdonald, Alastair A
Warwick, Colin M.
The equestrian statues of civic Edinburgh are on prominent display in the town. Visitors to the city can easily find the bronze statue of the iron Duke of Wellington (Fig. I A) outside Register house at the east end of Princes Street. A walk south from there, over South Bridge to the High Street, and then up that ancient cobbled way towards the castle, will lead the observer to the statue of Alexander and Bucephalus (Fig. I B) in the courtyard of the City Chambers. Both of these distinctive examples of nineteenth century sculpture were created by John Steell. Across the road from the City Chambers, behind the Mercat Cross and the mass of St Giles Cathedral, in the centre of Parliament square, stands the statue of Charles II (Fig. 2). Thought to have been made by the Dutch sculptor Grinling Gibbons, it was completed in 1685 and is possibly the oldest lead equestrian statue in Britain. It is here that we begin to explore the veterinary links to equine sculptures in Edinburgh.