Many of Edinburgh’s buildings and landmarks located in the city centre have centuries worth of history, and Nicolson Square is no different. Built in 1815, the venue has been used for multiple purposes over the years, from housing countless families to creating functional spaces for businesses and congregations. When plans for the construction of the building were first drawn up in the early 1800s, architects were heavily inspired by the gorgeous classical style, which is most notable in the impressive Venetian columns.
Thanks to the city’s great public transport system, getting to Nicolson Square is easier than ever. The closest railway station to the venue is Waverley Station, and the 3, 5, 7, 8, 14 and 29 bus all pass through the square. The venue is tucked away behind the peaceful Nicolson Square Gardens, so you can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the green oasis before or after visiting this historic Edinburgh landmark.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Nicolson Square
1. The venue started off as a religious meeting place
These days, Nicolson Square is mostly used to host a multitude of events including conferences, meetings and live concerts. However, the venue was actually first inaugurated as a meeting place for the Methodist church in 1815. Although the building is still used in part as an inviting space for the Methodist church community, the venue’s initial purpose has changed quite drastically over the years.
2. Multiple renovations have shaped this place
Despite being built in 1815, the Nicolson Square that we know and love today has changed quite significantly over the last 200 years. In 1872, a stunning balcony and Great Hall were fitted to add a sense of grandeur to the place. In 1915, Epworth Halls was built next to the venue, and construction got underway between 2010 and 2012 to connect the two buildings together. At the same time, a snazzy mezzanine floor was fitted as a welcome addition to the building’s main events space.
3. Nicolson Square has had multiple experiences in the limelight
In 2022, Nicolson Sqaure helped host part of the internationally renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Located a few minutes from Edinburgh’s creative district known as the Royal Mile, the venue makes for the perfect setting for budding thespians to express their passion and show off their talents. The shows represented over 54 genres ranging from dance acts, immersive theatre, poetry, music performances, cabaret and even circus acts.
What can you do at Nicolson Square?
No stranger to the arts, Nicolson Square has hosted countless art fairs and exhibitions. They’ve even run several worskhops and seminars on topics ranging from acting to cooking. If you’re a big coffee lover, then The Well Cafe is the perfect spot to get your caffeine fix. The on-site coffee shop offers delicious drinks and mouth-watering treats that can be enjoyed inside or outside on the courtyard garden when the sun comes out. Visiting hours are between 10am-10pm, and entry is completely free.
In addition to creative workshops, art exhibitions and countless meetings and conferences, Nicolson Square has also hosted a series of enchanting Candlelight concerts. While we’re waiting for upcoming concerts at the venue to be announced, you can check out the other spectacular venues in Edinburgh that are hosting these one-of-a-kind music tributes.