The Mound is an artificial slope in central Edinburgh, Scotland, which connects Edinburgh's New and Old Towns. It was formed by dumping around 1,501,000 cartloads of earth excavated from the foundations of the New Town into Nor Loch which was drained in 1765 and forms today's Princes Street Gardens.
The construction of the Earthen Mound, as it was originally called, was first proposed in 1783 by residents of the Lawnmarket to improve connection to Princes Street (which was then built only from St Andrew Square to Hanover Street) in correct anticipation of the need for such a new route. It was extended over the years until by 1830 it was macadamised and landscaped so that it appeared more or less complete. When the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was extended to Waverley station in 1846, tunnels were driven through the Mound to allow access east to west.
Some of Edinburgh's most notable buildings and institutions have their premises on the Mound, including the National Gallery of Scotland, the Royal Scottish Academy, the spires of the University of Edinburgh's New College, the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland, the elegant domed Headquarters of the commercially owned Bank of Scotland, and its museum, Museum on the Mound.
The Mound is a busy, if fairly steep, thoroughfare taking traffic to and from Princes Street in the New Town to the Royal Mile in the Old Town. The lower end, or 'Foot' of the Mound is a few metres' walk from the Princes Street tram stop. Due to its raised elevation, the Mound commands expansive views over Princes Street and the New Town of Edinburgh and towards Calton Hill. An 'electric blanket' was installed under the surface of the roadway of the mound to keep this clear of ice and snow in 1959. It is no longer operational but was one of the first of its type.