The Melville Monument, which stands at the centre of St Andrew's Square in Edinburgh, was erected between 1821 and 1823 in memory of the Tory statesman Henry Dundas, first Viscount Melville (1742–1811). The design for the monument, more than 150 ft tall, was provided by William Burn (1789–1870). The 15 ft statue of Dundas that stands on top, added in 1827, was carved by Robert Forrest (1789–1852), a Scottish sculptor from Lanarkshire, from a design by Francis Chantrey (1781–1841). The Melville Monument, imperial in character and context, is part of a series of highly visible monuments built in Edinburgh in the early nineteenth century to celebrate such figures as Horatio Nelson, Robert Burns, William Pitt, King George IV and the dead of the Napoleonic wars (National Monument). This article examines the commission and construction of the Melville Monument, and analyses the choice and significance of St Andrew's Square as a locus for commemoration. The monument is shown to be part of an emerging commitment to enhance the more picturesque qualities of the city, a reaction against the exaggerated formality of the first New Town and its grid pattern.