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Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace, Abbeyhill, Queen Mary's Bath

Lodge (Period Unassigned), Pavilion (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace, Abbeyhill, Queen Mary's Bath

Classification Lodge (Period Unassigned), Pavilion (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Mary Queen Of Scots' Bath-house; Palace Of Holyrood; Palace Of Holyroodhouse

Canmore ID 52389

Site Number NT27SE 35.06

NGR NT 26777 74009

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

(NT 2677 7400) Queen Mary's Bath (NR)

OS 1:1250 map, (1971).

This tiny irregular building (see RCAHMS 1951,figs. 309, 310), popularly known as "Queen Mary's Bath" is in reality a lodge or pavilion, datable to the last quarter of the 16th century. It was restored in 1852.

RCAHMS 1951.

This building is as described and illustrated; it is in a good state of preservation. Not in use.

Visited by OS(JLD) 31 December 1953.

No change to previous field report.

Visited by OS(SFS) 3 December 1975.

Architecture Notes

Depicted on the coloured 1st edition of the O.S. 1:1056 scale map (Edinburgh and its Environs, 1854, sheet 30).


External Reference (14 December 1970)

Late 16th century. Curious, diminutive, 2-storey, square-plan garden pavilion with pyramid roof, corbelled-out turret at N angle and Scots Renaissance detailing. Rubble built with roughly squared dressings to W and chamfered margins to E elevations. Corbelling at first floor, N elevation. Doorway at single-storey lean-to section at W elevation; some dentiled timber corbelling to SE. Pedimented dormers to E and W breaking eaves. Ball and spike finials.

Graded Scottish slate. Tall, coursed sandstone stacks (see Notes).


Old and New Edinburgh (1890). E J MacRae, The Royal Mile (1962) p41.

John Gifford et al, Buildings of Scotland - Edinburgh, (1991) p141. Charles

McKean, Edinburgh - An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992) p25.

References from previous list description: Inv. 87; MacRae - Royal Mile

Report 58. C & D Arch IV p475.


The ground beneath the Palace of Holyroodhouse and nearby structures

(including Croft-an-Righ House, the buildings on the N side of Abbey Strand

and the buildings around Mews Court) is scheduled under the Ancient

Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 for its archaeological

importance. The upstanding remains of Holyrood Abbey and Queen Mary's

Bath are also scheduled monuments. Significant upstanding and below-ground archaeological remains may survive as part of and in addition to the structures and features described above.

'Queen Mary's Bath House' is a highly unusual and very rare late 16th century survival. Although the original function of this distinctive building remains uncertain, it was most probably a garden pavilion for the then newly created North privy gardens within the grounds of the palace of Holyroodhouse. Its eye-catching, asymmetric form contributes significantly to the Abbeyhill streetscape. It became isolated following demolition of most of the buildings to the N range of the palace grounds, carried out in subsequent years. It forms part of a larger group of structures that comprise the Holyrood complex (see separate listings) and was once attached to the former privy garden and palace wall. Old & New Edinburgh (1890) describes the building as situated 'north-eastward of the tennis court" and notes that the tradition of it having been a bath house is of 'considerable antiquity'. Following demolition of a neighbouring building in 1852, the Bath House was repaired and to some extent restored with the two stacks added at this time.

Part of A-group comprising: Palace of Holyroodhouse; 28 and 30 Croft-An-

Righ (Croft-An-Righ House); Abbey Strand Eastern Building; Abbey Strand

Western Building; Queen Mary's Bath House; North Garden Sundial; Palace

Forecourt Fountain; Abbey Court House; Gatehouse and Former Guard

Rooms; Palace Coach House; Stables; Queen's Gallery (see separate


List description revised as part of the Edinburgh Holyrood Ward resurvey

(2007/08). List description updated 2012.

Information from Historic Scotland, 14th December 1970


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