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Commemorative stone unveiled in Old College

An engraved flagstone commemorating the 225th anniversary of the present day Old College has been unveiled.

The stone was revealed during a colourful recreation of a historic procession through the streets of Edinburgh and the announcement of the forthcoming refurbishment of the Edinburgh Law School.

Laying of the foundation stone

The procession from Parliament Square to Old College marked a similar occasion from 1789 when 30,000 lined Edinburgh’s streets to watch as University and city dignitaries laid the foundation stone of what is now Old College.

As part of the recreation, senior figures from the University and Law School processed with more than 100 members of the Scottish Judiciary, the Faculty of Advocates, the Court of the Lord Lyon, Edinburgh and Lothian Sheriffs and other Edinburgh law graduates.

The inscription on the newly revealed ceremonial flagstone, which is located in the north east corner of the quadrangle, reads: “This marks the 225th anniversary of the laying of the Foundation Stone for Old College on 16th November 1789. 23rd November 2014.”

A refurbished Law School

The ceremonial flagstone also marked the beginning of the Old College Law fundraising campaign.

Plans were unveiled for the forthcoming refurbishment of Edinburgh Law School, which is housed within the northern side of Old College.

The University has already committed significant investment towards the project, which will create world-class facilities for generations of law students to come.

Key features include a new law library on the ground floor, featuring octagonal book stacks that echo the shape of Robert Adam’s original lecture theatre above. The lecture theatre will be beautifully and sensitively refurbished as part of the project.

Making law more accessible

The fundraising campaign will also raise money for an enhanced scholarship and bursary programme to ensure everyone with the potential to study law at Old College is able to do so, regardless of personal circumstances.

It will also fund an extension of the Law School’s student-led pro-bono work, which provides free access to legal representation for the local community.