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Mary Stewart's panoramic views of Edinburgh

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Mary Stewart's panoramic views of Edinburgh
Mary Stewart's panoramic views of Edinburgh
Mary Stewart was born in Castle Stewart, Wigtownshire, Scotland in 1773. Mary was well educated and had ample leisure and talents to pursue her interests in landscape painting and sketching.

Two volumes of her panoramic sketches are featured here, 'Four panoramic views of Edinburgh and the surrounding country' and 'Panoramic views of Edinburgh', both published in 1822. They are both detailed and accurate 360 degree landscape panoramas, divided into 4 sections looking north, east, south and west, one a view from Calton Hill and the other from Blackford Hill. The sketch from Calton Hill has particular historical significance as it records a military encampment on top of Calton Hill and the Royal Squadron anchored at Leith during George IV's visit to Scotland in August 1822.

Shortly after these sketches were published, in 1823, Mary married at the age of 50 and became the second wife to the fifth baronet, The Reverend Sir Abraham Elton. Mary and Sir Abraham moved to Clevedon in Somerset. There they developed Clevedon as a seaside resort. They laid out walks and provided shaded seats in the two copses that later became the Pier Copse and Alexandra Gardens.

The hillsides of Clevedon were planted with shrubs and trees, and vistas were created for foot and road travellers through the village. Mary sketched these and numerous churches and buildings of note in the area and had then engraved for lithographs. Many were included as prints in the Covedon guidebooks of the time.
Her philanthropy was evident in the village. She had the first Parish School built in 1834. In 1846 she had an Infant School built, and this remained a school for 150 years.

Sir Abraham died in 1842 aged 87. A house had been built in 1844 for the use of Mary, the dowager Lady Elton, and she lived there with her sister and niece until she died in 1849.