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Edinburgh, 185, 187 Canongate, Bible Land

Tenement (17th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, 185, 187 Canongate, Bible Land

Classification Tenement (17th Century)

Alternative Name(s) 183 - 187, 187 - 199, 187 - 267, 191, 195 - 197, 213 - 217 Canongate; Shoemaker's Land;

Canmore ID 52359

Site Number NT27SE 330

NGR NT 26364 73770

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

Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 330 26364 73770

The almost entirely rebuilt front of a double tenement put up by the Incorporation of Cordiners in 1677. Five storeys high. Rebuilding completed 1956, Robert Hurd. Above the door a pedimented cartouche bears the Cordiners' emblem of a crowned shoemaker's rounding-knife flanked by cherubs' heads. Below is an open book inscribed: Behold how good a thing it is / and how becoming well / together such as brethren are / in unity to dwell, followed by (IT IS AN) HONOUR FOR (A MAN) TO CEASE FROM STRIFE.

J Geddie 1930; RCAHMS 1951; J Gifford, C McWilliam and D Walker 1984

Architecture Notes

NT27SE 330 26364 73770

Shoemakers' or Bible Land. Large five-storeyed tenement with two gables facing the street and closely-spaced windows. Turnpike stair near centre of the front ends and an ogee roof.

See also Edinburgh, Canongate, Shoemaker's Land.

Insignia of the shoemakers carved on the first floor level.


City Architect's Collection

Photostat of drawing of Bible, Morocco and Shoemaker's Lands as in 1677 by A A MacCulloch 1943


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 (24 September 1999)

Cartouche-like panel with an inscribed open book or scroll at the base, then a rounding-knife topped by a crown, flanked by two angel heads. The top of the cartouche contains a mask. Over the top of the whole thing, in a pediment, is another angel head. There are twisted columns at each outer side.

The building was commissioned by the Incorporation of Cordiners c.1677. According to Gifford et al, the building was almost entirely rebuilt at a later unspecified date. (1)

Inspected By : K M W / D. King

Inscriptions : Open book or scroll inscribed (incised gilded letters): BEhold how good a thing it is /and how becoming well / Together such as brethren are / In unity to dwell / IT IS AN HONOUR FOR MEN TO CEASE FROM STRIFE

Either side of the rounding-knife: 16 77

Signatures : None Visible

Design period : c1677

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN0540)


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