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Edinburgh, 101 High Street, 4 Paisley Close

Tenement (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, 101 High Street, 4 Paisley Close

Classification Tenement (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Paisley Close

Canmore ID 115299

Site Number NT27SE 1119

NGR NT 26031 73703

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Architecture Notes

Paisley (Paisley's) Close was named thus by 1679 for Henry Paisley, who owned property in it. Edgar 1742 lists its alternative name Smith's Close, recorded in 1660 as "George Smith's Close", evidently from a predecessor of James Smith, mason, who was appointed overseer of Holyrood and other palaces in 1683, styled himself "of Whitehill" after buying that estate near Brunstane in 1689, and built the Canongate kirk for the town in 1691, as well as his burgess house of "Smith's Land" within the close. On Ainslie 1780 and 1804 the close is shown as East Bailie Fyfe's Close, linking it with Bailie Fyfe's Close (see NT 27SE 294). (from Stuart Harris, "Place Names of Edinburgh", 1996, page 481)


Project (1997)

The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association ( set up a National Recording Project in 1997 with the aim of making a survey of public monuments and sculpture in Britain ranging from medieval monuments to the most contemporary works. Information from the Edinburgh project was added to the RCAHMS database in October 2010 and again in 2012.

The PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association) Edinburgh Sculpture Project has been supported by Eastern Photocolour, Edinburgh College of Art, the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, Historic Scotland, the Hope Scott Trust, The Old Edinburgh Club, the Pilgrim Trust, the RCAHMS, and the Scottish Archive Network.

Field Visit (13 August 2002)

Keystone of a young man's bust with rocks and splintered wood (?) behind. Above is a ribbon with an inscription, then two vertical sprigs of laurel (?) flanked by two tendrils of ivy on oriel support stones.

The previous building fell down in November 1861; thirty-five people lost their lives. At the request of the proprietor of the flat immediately above Paisley Close, a bust of the boy McIver was carved on the keystone of the arch, with a scroll bearing his exclamation.

The portrait and inscription commemorate the rescue of a boy called McIver, buried in the collapse of the previous building on the site. Hearing the firemen approaching, he called out 'Heave awa', lads, I'm no' deid yet'.

Inspected By : KM Withey/D. King

Inscriptions : On ribbon above boy's head (raised letters): "HEAVE AWA' CHAPS. I'M NO' DEAD YET."

Signatures : None Visible

Design period : 1862

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0764)


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