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The Scottish Enlightenment

It would be no exaggeration to say that the radical ideas that flowered in 18th century Scotland changed the way the world thought and acted. And Panmure House sat right at the heart of it all. That’s the legacy we are seeking to protect here.

That period, quickly dubbed the Scottish Enlightenment, gave rise to intellectual giants such as David Hume, Adam Ferguson, Joseph Black, James Hutton and, of course, Smith himself. These were people who proposed innovative new theories and practical demonstrations in subjects as diverse as economics, philosophy, chemistry, geology, engineering, architecture, medicine and law. 
The ideas posited in Edinburgh’s universities, debating halls and meeting places (including Panmure House) spread like wildfire throughout Europe and out to the Americas and colonies. We live today in the world those ideas created.

Latest blog

Conservation of Panmure House gets underway

Panmure House, Edinburgh

The next phase of work to repair and restore Panmure House, the final home of Adam Sm...


Interview with James Hutton


"when Adam Smith lived in Panmure House he made it a hub of intellectual enlightenment ... Panmure House should be restored to that purpose once again"
Dr Eamonn Butler Dr Eamonn Butler Director, Adam Smith Institute