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Edinburgh, 533 Castlehill, Palace And Chapel Of Mary Of Guise

Chapel (16th Century), House (16th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, 533 Castlehill, Palace And Chapel Of Mary Of Guise

Classification Chapel (16th Century), House (16th Century)

Canmore ID 52222

Site Number NT27SE 2

NGR NT 2547 7357

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. 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

Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 2 2547 7357.

Palace and Chapel of Mary-de-Guise. Queen Regent (NR) (16 Century) (Site of)

OS 1/500 plan (1895); OS 1/1250 plan.

Palace of Mary of Guise: A house traditionally associated with the Queen Regent. It was demolished in 1861 to make way for the Free-Church General Assembly Hall. Some of its doors, and portions of painted ceiling preserved in the National Museum.

RCAHMS 1951.

(NT 2547 7357) No further information obtained regarding this building.

Visited by OS (J D) 25 December 1953.

Architecture Notes


Site of Palace and Chapel of Mary of Guise, Queen Regent. Originally on the West side of Blythe's Close, but demolished in 1845-46 to provide a site for the Assembly Hall and New College.

Edinburgh, 533 Lawnmarket, Mary of Guise House was demolished c.1883.

(Undated) information from NMRS Demolitions catalogue.


Publication Account (1951)

78. “Palace of Mary of Guise”, Castle Hill.

Among the notable buildings that stood on Castle Hill may be mentioned the house traditionally associated with the Queen Regent. According to Drummond (1) the house stood on the N. side of the street behind a fore-land on the W. side of Blyth's Close, but returned E. so that its N. windows commanded an extensive view of the Forth. It may also have extended along the E. side of the Close in awing abutting on the back wall of Somerville's Land ([RCAHMS 1951] p. lxx), as indicated on the map issued with volume xi of The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club. Drummond records that “the entrance from the Close was by a spiral stair, to an indifferently lit lobby, leading to a series of what had been large and lofty apartments, well-lighted, and having beautifully designed ceilings…Remains also existed of stone mantel pieces and elaborately carved niches; some of the apartments had plain and ornate oak linings and doors, others were provided with fixings for tapestry. There were also two halls with wagon-shaped timber roofs…” The house was demolished in 1861 to make way for the Free Church General Assembly Hall; one of its doors and portions of a painted ceiling are preserved in the National Museum (K L 38 and K L 45-47), and panels from another door (2) are preserved at Darnick Tower, near Melrose [NT53SW 14].


(1) Old Edinburgh, Pl. I. (2) Illustrated in the Transactions of the Hawick Archaeological Society, 1928, opp. p. 27.


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