Had an outstanding tour of this 16th-17th century merchant's house with period pieces of furniture and pottery with much more. The staff was very friendly and prompt in answering... read more
Step back into a colourful and exciting world, where the wealthy and...
Step back into a colourful and exciting world, where the wealthy and privileged live side by side with the poor, in unfathomably cramped living conditions. Accused witches are being rounded up and drowned in the nearby Nor Loch; hangings and beheadings are a regular occurrence on the Royal Mile; and pigs roam freely, scavenging in the filth-ridden street. Wealthy ladies wear clothing of fine imported silks in a beautiful array of colours and special over-shoes to elevate their skirts out of the muck! People rarely bathe, living and sleeping in the same underclothes they are sewn into each year.
At the beginning of the 1600s, Thomas and Bessie Gledstanes, a wealthy business man and his wife, purchase 477 Lawnmarket. A typical Royal Mile building, it towers seven stories high and stands just a stone's throw from the castle. They rent out the basement as a tavern, the ground floor to merchants, the coveted first floor to the wealthiest of Edinburgh's elite and the subsequent floors to the less well off. They decorate the main rooms in the height of fashionable interiors - lavish tapestries on the walls and dramatic hand-painted ceilings depicting exotic fruit, roses, Greek pillars, an array of birds and, best of all, a monkey!
Discover the highs and lows of one of the busiest streets in the world, and experience how people live day to day through this enigmatic and atmospheric property. Learn about this turbulent period through dramatic storytelling and see the awe-inspiring technicolour interiors. Let yourself be immersed in Thomas and Bessie's world and you will have discovered the real Royal Mile.