When Robert Louis Stevenson was a boy, he would go to Colinton to visit his grandfather, who was a minister there. He came to know the whole area quite well, rambling over the nearby Pentland hills and being chased off them again by cranky shepherds. It was a happy time for Stevenson, so the commissioning of a statue of Stevenson as a boy with his dog seems a fitting way for Colinton to honour the writer.
Colinton was a significant influence on Stevenson, as several of his poems were based on experiences there including his ‘Children’s Garden’ verses.
Work on the statue began with a sketch of Stevenson as a young boy, sitting with his dog Cuillen. The sketch was mocked up into a statue, and the finished artwork was cast in bronze and placed outside the gates of Colinton Church near the manse his grandfather once lived in.
The statue was unveiled in 2013 to great hoopla by acclaimed Edinburgh crime writer and long-time RLS fan Ian Rankin with a large and enthusiastic audience of well-wishers.