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Edinburgh, 221 High Street, Old Stamp Office Close

Tenement (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, 221 High Street, Old Stamp Office Close

Classification Tenement (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Ship Tavern Close

Canmore ID 115221

Site Number NT27SE 1109

NGR NT 2585 7365

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Architecture Notes

Old Stamp Office Close is named for the Stamp Office which was here from before 1779 until it was transferred to Waterloo Place in 1821, and the "Old" dates from after this. Kirkwood 1817 shows the close as "Stamp Office Close, formerly Newbank Close". This Newbank Close name, shown in Edgar 1742 and still used on Brown 1809, referred to the original office of the Royal Bank ("new" in comparison with the "old" Bank of Scotland in (Old) Bank Close) which was opened in 1727. The close, as shown on Ainslie 1780 and 1804, was also known as the Ship Close or the Old Ship or Ship Tavern Close, for a tavern mentioned in Dean of Guild Records 1704 and built some time previously by a Thomas Wilson, perhaps the vintner of that name figuring in Town Council Minutes 1647. Fourthly, the close is referred to in Williamson's Directory 1773 as Fortune's Close, for the tavern John Fortune opened here in the 1750s, which became famous not only as a meeting place for clubs, but for the levees held in it by the king's Commissioners to the General Assembly. Fifthly, the close seems also to have been Forsyth's Close, recorded in 1645 and probably named for the Robert Forsyth whose heirs are listed in 1635 as owners in the close. (from Stuart Harris, "Place Names of Edinburgh", 1996, page 475)


Scottish Magazine Jan 1931 -article


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