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Edinburgh, 243 High Street, Anchor Close

Tenement(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, 243 High Street, Anchor Close

Classification Tenement(S) (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 52309

Site Number NT27SE 287

NGR NT 2580 7367

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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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 287 2582 7366

On the E side of the Close there are two 17th-century buildings, originally of four storeys and now used as a workshop and store. A modern doorway on the W side of the Close has a 17th-century lintel, inscribed LORD BE MERCIFVL TO ME. Until 1932 there was a stone above the N end of the entrance passage bearing, at the top, a shield with the date 1669, and below these an assemblage which the Lord Lyon could not accept as heraldic. This stone is now in Lady Stair's House Museum. RCAHMS 1951.

The front of these buildings now screen modern brick buildings.

J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker 1984.

Architecture Notes

The Anchor Close is recorded thus in 1714 and took this name from a tavern at its head, dating from before 1703. Later, as Dannie Douglas's, this was the meeting place of the Crochallan Fencibles, a club of some of the most distinguished men in the city, founded by William Smellie, printer in the close, who also founded the Encyclopaedia Britannica and printed the first Edinburgh edition of Burns in 1787. The close is recorded as Fowler's or Foular's Close in 1521, for a William Fowler, merchant burgess. The close was also known as Fordyce's Close before 1711, for James Fordyce, described as a religious writer; and it is recorded in 1723 as having been Brown's Close, for Thomas Brown's property in it, and then Dickson's Close for Thomas Dickson. (from Stuart Harris, "Place Names of Edinburgh", 1996, pages 60-1)


Scottish Magazine Jan 1931 -article


Sources: Dean of Guild Bundle 1815 July-December 5.8.1813

Pet. James Anderson, cooper

Foot of Anchor Close

To convert bakers into coopers shops

Plan and section, unsigned


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