Floral Clock

Floral Clock, Princes Street, Edinburgh
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Floral Clock, Princes Street, Edinburgh

One of Edinburgh's most popular tourist attractions, the Floral Clock is located in West Princes Street Gardens, next to the Mound. Commissioned on the 10th June, 1903, this is the oldest floral clock in the world and the inspiration for many others build subsequently around the globe. It is seasonally replanted in a topical design with around 35,000 colourful plants. Previously on show only between June and October, from 2003 a planting of frost-resistant plants takes it through the winter season.

The clock is 3.5m (12 feet) in diameter and the hands, which are driven by an electric motor, weigh more than 60 kg (130 lbs). The electrically-driven mechanism replaced a clockwork motor in 1973, which had needed to be wound daily.

The clock was the idea of John McHattie, Superintendent of the Edinburgh Parks, and the mechanism was the work of James Ritchie & Son, a local company of clockmakers, who remain responsible for its maintenance today.

Overlooking the clock is a statue of poet Allan Ramsay (1686 - 1758), by the sculptor Sir John Steell (1804-91).

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