Parts of the shaft date back to the 15C, but the present Cross is largely a 1885 reconstruction by Sydney Mitchell, based on drawings and engravings of the original. The earlier Mercat Cross was removed in 1756 as a traffic obstacle: its site is marked in the pavement, just a few metres from its present location. The Cross is embellished with the Scottish Royal Coat of Arms and the arms of Edinburgh, the Burgh of the Canongate, Leith, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, all in true heraldic tinctures. Public proclamations are made from the gallery three days after proclamation in London (that being the time a horseman takes to travel between the two capitals).
Architect: Sydney Mitchell
Building Date: 15C -1885