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Edinburgh, 146 High Street, Bell's Wynd

Almshouse (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Edinburgh, 146 High Street, Bell's Wynd

Classification Almshouse (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 52468

Site Number NT27SE 42

NGR NT 2586 7361

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

Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 42 2585 7361.

At the head of Bell's Wynd (NT 2585 7361) there stood a house called "Maison Dieu" the property of George Crichton, Bishop of Dunkeld. Its early history is lost. One of the few references made to it is in a deed of 1582 which states that a lease of it was given by the "bedlars" of the hospital of St Thomas beside Holyrood.

RCAHMS 1951.

"There was a hospital likewise at Edinburgh, founded at Bell's Wynd. It was called 'The Maison Dieu'." This statement of Spottiswoode has commonly been accepted, but no specific reference to a hospital here is available. "Le Masondew" appears as a place-name in 1477 and there is a mention of "the garden or land formerly called Maison Dieu.... beside the place of the Friars Minor Observatines" in 1489 - 90. If such a hospital existed here, it must have been defunct in or before the 15th century. Attempts to identify it with the later Magdalene hospital (NT27SE 23) seem to be based merely on the fact that both were near the Grey Friars. (Listed among "Uncertain and Unauthenticated Foundations") D E Easson 1957.

Almsmen of the hospital under the invocation of Saints Andrew and Catherine (see NT27SE 70) received a tenement (apparently in their almshouse) in Bell's Wynd in 1541. The siting of the hospital in Bell's Wynd makes it clear that the Maison Dieu is to be identified with this house.

I B Cowan 1964.

No trace of building remains. Area built up.

Visited by OS (V E L) 6 February 1954; Information from Map by de Wit, 1647.

Architecture Notes

ARCHITECT: Geroge Paterson & others

One of the remaining examples of projecting timber structures. Probably linked at one time in Stevenlaw's Close with what is now Fairlie's Entry.

Sources: Dean of Guild. 24.3.1814.

Pet. Charles Stobie, Sawyer.

Small houses in Fairlie's Entry, Cowgate - north side.

Minor alterations.

Elevation enclosed, to Bell's Wynd, unsigned.


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