Gladstone’s Land and Old Town Favourites.


Gladstone's Land

Gladstone's Land

Gladstone’s Land is actually pretty well at the heart of the Old Town, situated on the section of the Royal Mile that is also called “Lawnmarket” and only a few minutes down the hill from the castle. The name of the house comes from a 17th century merchant Thomas Gledstane who had a shop on the street level. ( Apparently there is no known connection between him and the prime minister of  the same name). The National Trust run the property and their website  gives a few photographs of the interior.  Some of the most interesting aspects are the very well preserved painted ceilings – even the Gallery space has a painted ceiling and some faint traces of original wall stencils. For a visitor to Edinburgh this building will give you a good impression of life in 17th Century Edinburgh and forms a good contrast with the other recreated interior in the new town – the Georgian House. You can easily spot the building because of the golden hawk hovering over the street – a reference to the scottish word “gled” meaning  “hawk” – and the arches at street level which would have provided a shop front for Thomas Gledstane.

From this spot you can easily reach one of Edinburgh’s most attractive streets, Victoria street which curves down to the Grassmarket. After a year or so of “rearrangement” the Grassmarket is now looking ready for summer with more space for outside markets and performances. There are quite a few interesting shops and cafes in this area – highlights are the Edinburgh institution “Armstrongs” ( a “vintage emporium”  which really deserves a post all of its own – ) , Bill Baber  a knitwear designer with a very distinctive style and the quirky little bookshop with a focus on all things graphic Analogue. I should also give K1 Yarns  a mention – a newish Woolshop that looks very inviting and colourful and hosts knitting groups on a Thursday evening. Tomorrow I’ll do a little round up of favourite cafes in the area.


One thought on “Gladstone’s Land and Old Town Favourites.

  1. Can I give a shout out to Ian Mellis cheese on Victoria Street? The Edinburgh Central Library on the top.A huge pile of a victorian building which I don’t go to enough – especially the Fine Art Library. Helios fountain nice wooden toys, Lion and Owl gallery/workshop space… Also a pig roast place has started on Victoira st.

    There used to be a teashop/lunch place called the Lairds Larder which has orginal 17th centuary wall paper !

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