The New Town is a central area of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It is often considered to be a masterpiece of city planning and, together with the Old Town, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. It was built in stages between 1767 and around 1850, and retains much of the original neo-classical and Georgian period architecture. Its most famous street is Princes Street, facing Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town across the geographical depression of the former Nor Loch. The idea of a New Town was first suggested in the late 17th century when the Duke of Albany and York (later King James VII and II), when resident Royal Commissioner at Holyrood, encouraged the idea of having an extended regality to the north of the city and a North Bridge. He gave the city a grant:
That, when they should have occasion to enlarge their city by purchasing ground without the town, or to build bridges or arches for the accomplishing of the same, not only were the proprietors of such lands obliged to part with the same on reasonable terms, but when in possession thereof, they are to be erected into a regality in favour of the citizens.
It is possible that, with such patronage, the New Town may have been built many years earlier than it was but, in 1682, the Duke left the city and became King in 1685, only to lose the throne in 1688.
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