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McEwan Hall, Edinburgh

4.8
The McEwan Hall is the graduation hall of the University of Edinburgh, in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It was presented to the University in 1897 by William McEwan, brewer and politician, at a cost of £115,000. Sir Robert Rowand Anderson was the architect. The McEwan Hall is a Grade A listed building.The design was begun in 1876 and was largely undertaken by George Mackie Watson whilst working in the offices of Robert Rowand Anderson (with the masterplan clearly being by Rowand Anderson himself). It was built using stone from Prudham Quarry, Hexham in Northumberland.The exterior of the D-shaped hall was completed in 1894. The interior, finished in 1897, is built in Italian Renaissance style, and features mural decorations from the hand of William Mainwaring Palin. The central piece of art is a large painted work known as "The Temple of Fame" depicting a great number of philosophers and students. The McEwan Hall organ was built in 1897 by Robert Hope-Jones, and has been rebuilt and modified on various occasions afterwards.Another striking feature of the McEwan Hall is its large dome. On the inside of the dome is a biblical inscription: Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting, get understanding. Exalt her and she shall bring thee to honour. (Proverbs 4:7).In 2015 the hall and Bristo Square closed for refurbishment and is due to reopen in time for the July 2017 graduations at a projected cost of £35 million. New heating, ventilation and lighting has been integrated with the Grade A listed interior and new seminar rooms created in the basement and below Bristo Square. One of the project's key aims is to provide easy access to all areas, including the second floor gallery. The McEwan Hall will be used for graduations, lectures and public talks, some Edinburgh Festival events and organ recitals.
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McEwan Hall Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
17 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • It is like entering a Harry Potter school of magic. The building is beautiful and mystical, and you can easily get lost in it. The architecture is sublime. Love the brick and stone materials, combined...  more »
  • Spotted this unusual building when heading back towards our hotel at the end of the day. If I had know it was just as great inside I would have made the effort to go inside...  more »
Google
  • I have a sweet memory of McEwan Hall. I was a graduate student at the University of Edinburgh during 2006-09. I loved the Christmas season there, especially the carols at this Hall. The music that echoes in this Hall is a delight to the ears. Once, I was late by a minute and the doors were closed as the hall was full already. Just like me, a few other students arrived and greatly dissappointed to see the closed doors. We waited for some time unsure what to do. We wanted some magic to happen to see the doors open. It was dark, wet and cold. Yet we waited patiently. Eventually, standing outside the door, two girls started to sing a Carol. Slowly, the entire gathering of about 100 students and others joined and sang the carols for an hour or so, forgetting the chillness. It was a moment of happiness when I felt connected with fellow beings though unknown. After an hour of singing, we cheered and rushed to Chaplaincy to relish the mince pies. Since then, Christmas carols always remind me of McEwan Hall.
  • Such a magnificent hall!
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