In the 1860s the Medical School of Edinburgh University was constrained within Old College and by 1880 the new Royal Infirmary had been built on Lauriston Place. The construction of new medical buildings began and they were complete by 1884, on Teviot Row, adjacent to the Royal Infirmary. Together they housed the Medical Faculty with proper facilities teaching, scientific research and practical laboratories. The competition to design the University's new buildings was won by architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson in 1877. After extensive European travel, he decided upon a 'Cinquecento' Italian Renaissance style which he judged more suitable than Greek or Palladian, where the interior would have been constrained by the formal exterior, or mediaeval, which would have been out of keeping with the spirit of scientific medical enquiry. The Medical School was designed around two courts, with a grand public quadrangle at the front and, for discreet delivery of cadavers to the dissection rooms, a second private yard entered from the lane behind.1.
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Many memorial tablets of famous medicine students and teachers of the Medical School, can be seen in the entrance passage and main courtyard of the building: