Exhibitions

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Apart from a great view, the Nelson Monument also gives you great information. See a model of Nelson’s flagship, “Victory” and  a facsimile of Nelson’s last letter to his great love Emma, Lady Hamilton.

Don’t be too excited about dashing up the 143 stairs from the entrance hall to enjoy the great view from the top of the Monument. You might just walk straight past a model of Nelson’s flagship “Victory”, or miss our timeline of the monuments history, or the history of the monument, the Battle of Trafalgar and the time ball.

In the entrance hall to the monument, read a  facsimile of Nelson’s last letter to the great love of his life, Emma, Lady Hamilton, two days before the battle that took his life. “My dearest beloved Emma, the dear friend of my bosom, the signal has been made that the enemy’s combined fleet is coming out of port.”

We have also made the most of the cramped space in a circular monument to give you information about its history, and about that famous battle. Find out too about the time ball on the top of the monument – a great aid to 19th century seafarers, enabling them to set their chronometers accurately, still dropped daily at 1.00 o’clock.

Sailors needed to know the exact time to help them calculate longitude to work out their position. With a near-original cast-iron mechanism by Maudslay and Field of London, recently conserved to the highest standards, this is one of the best-preserved time balls in the world.



Merchant Navy exhibition

An exhibition celebrating the 1,000 year history of the Merchant Navy service has now been opened at Nelson Monument.

The Lord Provost, Rt. Hon. George Grubb, and Rear Admiral Roger Lockwood unveiled the memorial plaque that is to form the centre piece of the new permanent exhibition, on a day that is annually remembered as National Merchant Navy Day.

Lord Provost, Rt. Hon. George Grubb, said: “Both the plaque and the new exhibition in the Nelson Monument will play an important role in remembering British Merchant Navy personnel.

“Their astounding bravery and courage during troubled times has left a marked impression on this country and so it is only right that we remember their contribution in this way.”

The display will stand adjacent to the very successful Battle of Trafalgar exhibition that has been a feature in the Nelson Monument since 2009.

It has been organised in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council and the Merchant Navy Memorial Trust.