Love it or hate it, the building is of national importance and worth a visit, not only for its unusual architecture but also for its historical significance. As Secretary of State for Scotland and then First Minister of Scotland, Donald Dewar is credited with bringing the Scottish Parliament into being, for which he was dubbed the ‘Father of the Nation’. However, at £431 million, the building’s costs spiralled out of control from the original estimate of £45 million. The management of the Scottish Parliament building was the subject of an inquiry by Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, who published his report in September 2004. This cache will help you to decide whether the money spent has been worthwhile. You will need to look both outside and inside the building. Opening hours are:
Tuesday to Thursday: 9am to 6.30pm
Monday, Friday & Saturdays: 10.00am to 5.00pm
Closed on Sundays.
Last admission is 45 minutes before closing time. Closed on December 25th and 26th; January 1st and 2nd. There is free public access to the Main Hall and the public gallery of the Debating Chamber. Current (2016) tours of the building available include Literature, History, Art & Parliament tours, advisable to book in advance.
History of the Scottish Parliament
The first ever assembly referred to as a Parliament in Scotland took place in 1235. In 1652, under Cromwell, the Scottish Parliament was abolished, but Scots were able to send representatives to Westminster. The Parliament was restored in 1661, but in 1707, with the Union of the Crowns of Scotland and England, the Scottish Parliament was dissolved. In 1978 a proposal for a separate Scottish Assembly was made, and as a result of a referendum in 1997, a new Scottish Parliament was born. On May 6th 1999, 292 years after the dissolution of the previous Parliament, the first elections to the new Scottish Parliament took place. A more detailed history can be found at History of Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament Building
“A building that sits and grows out of the land” is how Eric Miralles, the Spanish architect, described the Scottish Parliament building. His inspiration came from several sources and images: upturned boats on a beach, a photo of a St. Kilda parliament meeting and the landscape of Holyrood Park. The building uses Scottish materials such as Kemnay granite from Aberdeenshire, Caithness stone from the far northeast and oak from all over Scotland. In the Main Hall are exhibits related to the Scottish Parliament, its history, its functions and the building. There is also a shop and café. Large flat screens in the Main Hall and in the café allow the public to view live proceedings in the Debating Chamber and Committee rooms.
Outside the building
Reid’s Close or N55 57.097 W003 10.605
If you stand here, you can see the window seats or ‘contemplative spaces’ for MSPs to ponder. Look at the top row of windows. Some of them feature external oak lattice designs. How many of these particular kinds of windows are there on the entire top row = A? Please note that one is missing but you can still see its frame
Queensberry House or N55 57.130 W003 10.582
Queensberry House is an A-listed building built in 1667, which has been renovated and incorporated into the parliament site. In years gone by it has been used as both a hospital and an army barracks. It provides office accommodation for the Presiding Officers of the Scottish Parliament. A concrete plinth on the pavement outside the building states what the building is. Count the number of letters in the 3rd row = BC.
Canongate or N55 57.144 W003 10.527
Set into the wall of the building are stones from around Scotland, some with fossils and some with quotations carved into them. Find the one that starts “When we had a king….”. Count the number of letters of the second name of the author = D.
Inside the building
E = Find the model of the debating chamber. There is a symbol on its floor representing something. Use its Gaelic name and convert its 4th letter to a number according to A=1, B=2 etc.
F = Find the architect's model of the parliament building and surrounding area. There are XY little silver cars. X + Y - 5 = F.
G = Find a glass, light and sound installation by Alison Kinnaird. It plays three times a day at 1X.00, 1Y.00 and 1Z.00 hours. G is the sum of X, Y and Z.
H = Look at the 3 arches in the ceiling of the main hall. Count the number of crosses in the arch over the window seats, furthest away from the front of the building.
Up to the Debating Chamber
J = 14J is the identity number of a boat incorporated into a work of art called ‘The Coble’ at the foot of the stairs.
K = There are groups of lights hanging from the ceiling on wires as you go up the stairs. At the very top before going through the door there is a group of K lights.
L = The number of large black cameras on wooden stands jutting from the wall facing into the Debating Chamber. Watch a debate while you are in the Chamber, and admire the sycamore and oak desks designed by Miralles.
If you can’t gain access to the Debating Chamber, find a gold sculpture in a glass case downstairs. It was presented in the year WXYK. At the bottom of a sign on the lift is an extension number XYZ00. L is Y+Z.
‘Finding’ the cache.
Now work out the coordinates for a place associated with the Scottish Parliament; it's not a building and it's not in Edinburgh. Please email me the answes to the following questions:
Q1. What coordinates do you derive?
Q2. What is the name of the place at this location?
Q3. Why is it associated with the Scottish Parliament building?
Please await my confirmation that you have answered the questions correctly before posting your found log. If you do not do this, your log may be deleted.
N 5C (H-L) (L-F). (D+E-H) (D-F) (G-J)
W 00(H-D) (A-L) (B+D). (E-D) K J