Makars’ Court is an evolving national literary monument hidden in Edinburgh’s city centre outside The Writers’ Museum. It celebrates the lives and works of Scottish writers by commemorating them with a quotation inscribed in stone and set in the paving which leads from both The Mound and the Lawnmarket approaches to the door of The Writers’ Museum. The poetry ranges from 14th century John Barbour to Dame Muriel Spark who died in 2006. It was always the intention that Makars’ Court grow and develop into a Scottish national literary monument as more writers are commemorated, and new stones are continually being added thanks to the sponsorship of organisations, interest groups and individuals.
The idea grew out of events surrounding the International Congress of PEN, held in Edinburgh in 1997. Selected by The Saltire Society, the first twelve writers and quotations were sponsored by Lothian and Edinburgh Enterprise Ltd (LEEL) in association with The City of Edinburgh Council, and were unveiled in August 1998 by the late Iain Crichton Smith.
If there’s a writer that you think’s been missed out, you can sponsor an inscribed stone in Makars’ Court. All writers born in Scotland, or who lived and worked in Scotland, will be considered – the only stipulations are that the writer must no longer be alive and must be of sufficient literary standing to merit inclusion.