Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

The Lawnmarket in the Royal Mile Edinburgh is the street where the linen market was. Going down the hill on the left is the preserved 17th century townhouse Gladstone’s Land. The south side has a strong Dutch influence. Lady Stair’s House is where the Writer’s Museum is, the High Court on the left with a Statue of David Hume Scottish philosopher, historian and economist outside. Directly opposite is the site of the last public hanging. See the plaque and cobbles. Do not miss Riddles Court and the first public library, and the notorious Deacon Brodie.

lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

 

  Mylne’s Court 513 Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

Milne’s (Mylne’s) Court Was the first open court of its type in Edinburgh, it was built in 1692 by Robert Mylne master mason to the King. The buildings were renovated in 1914. The plaque at the entry to Mylne’s Court reads; One of the first open squares in old Edinburgh was designed and built by Robert Mylne in the late 17th century. The old building which formed the west side of the court was demolished in 1883. The north and south blocks were restored and the east range rebuilt by the university of Edinburgh between 1966 – 1970. This was made possible by generous friends of the university.  

Milne's Court Plaque Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

James’s Court 493 -495 Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

James Court was named after the builder James Brownhill. James’s Court was built around 1725. The philosopher David Hume and James Boswell the lawyer and author lived here. The court was destroyed by fire and re-built in 1857. There are 3 entry’s to James Court East Entry, Mid Entry and West Entry. The Plaque on the wall of the Mid Entry reads; David Hume and James Boswell were residents and Dr Johnson a guest in this 18th Century courtyard. Declined c 1790 with rise of New Town. Building destroyed by fire 1857.  

James Court Mid Entry Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

Gladstone’s Land Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

Gladstone’s Land Lawnmarket Edinburgh. Halfway down the Lawnmarket section of the Royal Mile you can experience what life was like in the Old Town by visiting Gladstone’s Land. This is a restored tenement building to show the conditions people lived in, in Edinburgh in the 17th Century. Also visit Lady Stair’s House the Writer’s Museum and Makers’ Court.

  Gladstone's Land Lawnmarket Castlehill Royal Mile Edinburgh   royal mile lawnmarket gladstone's land

  Lady Stair’s Close Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

The Plaque at the entrance to Lady Stair’s Close reads; Mansion of Lady Stair restored by 5th Earl of Rosebery Only relic of close where in Tavern of 1717 Sir Richard Steele gave supper to company of eccentric beggars. For more detail on Lady Stair’s House see Writer’s Museum below.

Lady Stair's Close Plaque Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh 

 Wardrop Court Dragons Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

This is the last court before crossing Bank Street to the final building in the Lawnmarket, Edinburgh’s High Court. Wardrop Court is noticeable by the Dragons decorating the entrance. The court is named after the owner John Wardrop. The Dragons were originally sculpted by Arthur Geddes circa 1890. There are 4 Dragons 1 on each corner of the close.Wardrop's Close Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

Riddle’s (Riddell’s) Close and Court Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

Riddle’s (Riddell’s) Close and Court was where the merchant Baillie John McMorran built a house for himself in 1590. He was one of the wealthiest residents of Edinburgh at that time. Inside you can see the different interiors from the 16th – 19th centuries. The story of the building can be seen in the painted ceilings by Patrick Geddes. See where the banquet was held when King James the sixth stayed here with his Queen. Riddle’s Court has been renovated and is as it would have been when first built, the steps on the outside of the building were placed there because when first built there was no space for internal steps.

Riddles Close and Court Plaque Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

Fisher’s Close Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

Scottish Central Library 312-320 Lawnmarket founded by Carnegie UK Trust in 1921 and opened in 1953 after renovations. It was later merged with the National Library of Scotland in 1974. This was part of Fisher’s Land the building built for Thomas Fisher a merchant in 1699.

Fisher's Close Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

William (Deacon) Brodie – Brodie’s Close Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

William (Deacon) Brodie was born in September 1741 and died on the gallows in October 1788 he was commonly known as Deacon Brodie. Deacon Brodie lived in Brodie’s Close in the Lawnmarket Edinburgh, where he also had his workshop. William Brodie was a Scottish cabinet maker and Deacon of trades (This is where the name Deacon came from). By day, William Brodie was a respectable tradesman, a Deacon and a member of the Edinburgh Town Council. When evening came he used his skills as a burglar. The money from his crimes was used to maintain his second life, including five children, two mistresses and a gambling habit. He was also a member of the Edinburgh Cape Club founded circa 1700. The main meeting place for the Cape Club was the Isle of Man Arms in Craig’s Close in the Old Town of Edinburgh. A meeting place for the wealthy and nobility where all manner of frivolities would take place. When Deacon Brodie was eventually caught for trying to rob the Royal Mint in the Canongate, he was arrested and sentenced to hang. In 1788 he was taken to the Edinburgh Tolbooth (jail) and hanged by the neck on the Gallows of the Lawnmarket which he had design and built.. The Tolbooth is no longer there but is marked with brass cobbles and the Heart of Midlothian. Deacon Brodie’s life inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. William Brodie designed and erected the gallows in the High Street and was also the first to hang on them. The Gallows are marked with a plaque and cobbles at the corner of George IV Bridge across from David Hume’s Statue.

Brodie's Close Lawnmarket Royal mile Edinburgh

Writers’ Museum Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

Writers’ Museum is housed in Lady Stair’s House which was built in 1662. This was originally called Lady Gray’s Close the widow of Lord William Gray who was the wealthiest merchant of the time. After his death the house was sold to the Earl of Stair and the house was renamed after his wife on his death Lady Stair’s House. The Writer’s Museum is dedicated to the lives and work of Scotland’s great literary figures. Rare collections include early editions, manuscripts, portraits, photographs, and personal belongings of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Lady Stair's House Writer's Museum Makars' Court Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

 

Link to list of Makars and the Paving Slabs in Makar’ Court;

Makars’ Court Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

Makars’ Court is the area outside Lady Stair’s House, The Writer’s Museum. Look beneath your feet and find the words of the great people Like Robert Fergusson, Walter Scott and Robert Burns. Makars’ Close from the Mound and two of the paving stone that can be seen in Makars’ Court and the steps to Makars’ Court Lady Stair’s House the Writer’s Museum. Click on the title or image to see all the Makars’ in the court.

  Makars' Court Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

The Lawnmarket Wellhead Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

The Lawnmarket Wellhead can be found up from St Giles Cathedral at the junction of the Lawnmarket and the High Street. This is where the residents of the Lawnmarket would collect their fresh drinking water every day. The water was piped from the reservoir at Castlehill to cisterns / wellheads to give the people fresh water.

Lawnmarket Well Head Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

David Hume Statue Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

David Hume was born on the 26 April 1711 in Edinburgh, he was a Scottish philosopher and historian. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment. David Hume attended the University of Edinburgh. Hume achieved great literary fame as a historian when publishing The History of England. David Hume lived from 1771 until his death in 1776 at his home in St. Andrew Square in Edinburgh’s New Town. The actual site of his home was 21 St David Street. There are two thoughts on how St David’s Street was named after King David I son of Malcolm III.

David Hume Statue Lawnmarket Royal Mile Edinburgh

Lothian Chambers Edinburgh Lawnmarket / George IV Bridge Edinburgh

The Lothian Chambers Building was built in 1904 and was used for the administration of Midlothian Council. The building is now used as a venue for marriages. On the corner of the building at the Lawnmarket is a plaque showing the place where the last person in Edinburgh was hanged. A man in his early 30’s battered and slit the throat of a 23-year-old girl in a crime of passion. The brass cobbles in the street show where the gallows were.

 ROYAL MILE LAWNMARKET MIDLOTHIAN CHAMBERS

Lawnmarket Gallows – Last Public Execution Plaque and Cobbles

The brass plaque on the Wall of the Lothian Chambers Building and brass cobbles at the side of the walkway show the place where the gallows stood and the site of the last man to hang in public in Edinburgh. The site of the gallows is marked by the three brass plates set at the edge of the pavement. George Bryce the Ratho murderer was executed here on the 21st June 1864 the last public execution in Edinburgh. The first public execution from the same gallows was on 1 October 1788, a William (Deacon) Brodie. The gallows William (Deacon) Brodie had designed and funded and built the year before. 

Last man to hang in public Lawnmarket Gallows Royal Mile Edinburgh

Link to Lawnmarket Close’s North Side

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