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Edinburgh, 66 High Street, Strichen's Close

Tenement (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, 66 High Street, Strichen's Close

Classification Tenement (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 52330

Site Number NT27SE 304

NGR NT 2601 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


Strichen's Close is given as Lord Streighan's Close on Edgar 1742. Also Lord Strichen's or Strachan's Close, the name was from Alexander Fraser of Strichen, who sat in the Court of Session as Lord Strichen, and probably acquired his house in the close through his marriage in 1731 with Anne Campbell, widow of the 2nd Earl of Bute, grandson of its former owner Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh (1630-91) king's advocate under Charles II, notorious as "Bluidy Mackenzie" in putting down Covenanters, but also the founder of the Advocate's Library. Hence the alternative close names MacKenzie's Close or Rosehaugh's Close, still in use a century after his time. In 1635 it is listed as Walter Mawer's Close, deriving from Walter Mawer, a writer in Edinburgh in 1593, and his son M(aister) Walter Mawer, advocate, who succeeded him in 1614. The father evidently acquired his house in the close through his marriage with Margaret Vaus, for Thomas Vaus, merchant in Edinburgh, had bought the "Abbot of Melrose ludgeing" in the West side of the close in 1588. This mansion, the residence of all the subsequent chief owners in the close, is described in Wilson as a large and substantial medieval building, greatly altered in about 1600 -no doubt by Walter and Margaret Mawer. It was the house of Andrew Durie, abbot from 1528 until his death (from shock at a Protestant riot, says Knox) in 1588; but the name Melrose or Abbot of Melrose Close (still in use in mid eighteenth century) probably goes back to the early fifteenth century, for the abbey's land here, mentioned in RMS (Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, Vols I-XI) 1444 and 1473, seems to be that referred to in a grant noted in RMS 1390-1406. (from Stuart Harris, "Place Names of Edinburgh", 1996, pages 589-90)

Edinburgh, 64-78 High Street and Strichen's Close, 66 High Street which were Category B Listed were demolished in 1965-66. Information from RCAHMS Miscellaneous catalogue, Demolitions.


Draught transcript of testament of Walter Mawer, Abbot of Melrose. Ref no:- CC 8./42, folio 340a -text


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