Nelson Monument

The Nelson Monument was built in memory of Admiral Lord Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Weather permitting, the Trafalgar flag signal 'England expects that every man will do his duty' is still flown on Trafalgar Day (21 October).

Looking like a tall stone telescope, the Nelson Monument contains a time ball which is still dropped at 1 o’clock daily. You get a wonderful view of the City and the sea from the top of the building.

Images of and from the Nelson Monument can be found on Capital Collections and a new exhibition has been curated just in time for the monument's 200th anniversary.

During adverse weather conditions (high winds especially) please check our Twitter feed @EdinCulture before travelling as the monument may be closed at short notice for safety reasons.

Astronomy on Calton Hill

A talk by Bruce Vickery

Every Saturday throughout July and August; 2.30pm - 3.30pm
Have you ever wondered why there is an Astronomical Observatory on Calton Hill? And what was being done there? This talk seeks to answer these questions and to introduce some of the individuals who fashioned the history.
This talk is free, though standard £5 entry charge to Nelson Monument applies.


Visitors standing at the entrance to the Nelson Monument


Find out more about Nelson Monument and what you will see when you visit.

The time ball at the top of the Nelson Monument


Find out more about the time ball.

Visitor Information

Visitor Information

Details of opening hours and how to find us.

Cannon sitting below the Nelson Monument


Find out about our Outreach service for schools and community groups

One of the exhibition boards inside the recently refurbished Nelson Monument on Calton Hill


Find out about the exhibition at the Nelson Monument.

Nine famous words

Did you Know?

Horatio Nelson's nine famous words

Did you Know?

Horatio Nelson's nine famous words

The flag signal “England expects that every man will do his duty” is still flown on Trafalgar Day (October 21st)  from the Nelson Monument. Nelson actually asked for the signal “Nelson confides that every man will do his duty” but this would have taken nine more flags, and his signal officer asked to change it to “England expects”.