From its vantage point on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill, this unusual property is an example of the importance that 18th-century pioneers placed on science and astronomy.
This hilltop residence, built in 1776, allowed unfettered views of the night sky before the expanding city’s pollution obscured the view. The building was the brainchild of local-born optician/astronomer Thomas Short during the intellectual period known as the Scottish Enlightenment. The council gave the go ahead for the project and initial sketches were drawn up by architect Robert Adam, whose vision was the first step in this romantic gothic ‘castle’. A fascinating feature on the third floor is the domed room, the former rotating observatory. Guests can enjoy accommodation split over three floors, but it is the views that should be especially relished, across the city, Fife and the Lothians.
Old Observatory House
Calton Hill, Edinburgh