To the memory of Vice-Admiral Horatio Lord Viscount Nelson, and of the great victory of Trafalgar, too dearly purchased with his blood, the grateful citizens of Edinburgh have erected this monument: not to express their unavailing sorrow for his death; nor yet to celebrate this matchless glories of his life; but, by his noble example, to teach their sons to emulate what they admire, and, like him, when duty requires it, to die for their country. A.D. MDCCCV
A commemorative tower in honor of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson built between 1807 and 1815 to commemorate Nelson's victory over the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and his own death at the same battle. In 1853 a time ball was added, (originally connected by an underground wire to the adjacent City Observatory) as a time signal to shipping in Leith harbor. The monument was restored in 2009. The monument stands 105 feet, on the highest point of Calton Hill, at 171 metres (561 ft) above sea-level. The monument was funded by public subscription, and an initial design was prepared by Alexander Nasmyth. This obelisk-like design proved too expensive, and an alternative design, in the form of an upturned telescope, was obtained from the architect Robert Burn. This Neo-Gothic design reflected the castellated prison buildings which stood on the south side of Calton Hill in the early 19th century.