James Watt statue
On a red sandstone plinth is the seated figure of James Watt, who has been revered as an iconic role model for students since the earliest days of the Edinburgh School of Arts. This statue was made for the University's predecessor, the Watt Institution and School of Arts, by Peter Slater, who taught ornamental modelling there. When the statue was unveiled in 1854 students and staff celebrated all night and formed the Watt Club – now the oldest graduate association in the UK.
Originally displayed outside the Watt Institution building in Adam Square, this stone carving was moved first to Heriot-Watt College in Chambers Street, then in 1990 to its current position. The plinth under the statue contains a time capsule.
Learn more about the James Watt statue on our Heritage Trail.
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