Accessibility

Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

All our staffed properties, sites and offices, including the HES Archives and Library, are currently closed, but we’re working on plans to gradually reopen. In the meantime, you can access our services online. Find out more.

Scheduled Website Maintenance 14/07/20 00:00 – 04:00GMT – There will be periods of time during this window when this website will be unavailable.

Edinburgh, High Street, The Black Turnpike

House (16th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, High Street, The Black Turnpike

Classification House (16th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Auld Bishop Of Dunkeld's Lodging; Mary Queen Of Scots' House

Canmore ID 52482

Site Number NT27SE 432

NGR NT 2591 7363

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/52482

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

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 432 2590 7363

The Black Turnpike, also known as the 'Auld Bishop of Dunkeld's Ludging', was built in 1461 on the S side of High Street immediately W of where the Tron Kirk now stands. It was demolished in 1788 to make way for Hunter Square and Blair Street. An inscribed door-lintel which appears to have come from this house is preserved at Abbotsford.

J Grant 1882; D Wilson 1890; C B B Watson 1940; RCAHMS 1951.

No trace.

Visited by OS (JLD) 26 December 1953.

Architecture Notes

Town house of Sir Simon Preston in 1567. Then situated West of the Tron Church.

Activities

Publication Account (1951)

83. The Black Turnpike, High Street.

This mansion, which was also known as the "Auld Bishop of Dunkeld's Ludging," was built in 1461 on the S. side of the High Street and a few feet W. of the Tron Church. Two 18th-century drawings of the house exist; one, by James Skene (1), shows a building of four storeys with closed piazzas, and theother, made by George Sandy in 1788 (2), gives it three storeys only and shows the piazzas as open. The latter representation is much more likely to be accurate than the former, as there is no evidence of any 15th-century house possessing more than three storeys. An inscribed door-lintel which appears to have come from this house is preserved at Abbotsford (3). The inscription, which reads THE LORD OF ARMEIS IS MY PROTECTOR / BLISSIT AR THAY THAT TRVST IN THE LOR/D, is set between a monogram of the initials A C and M B at one end and the date 1575, associated with a monogram of the initials A C, at the other. The Black Turnpike was demolished in 1788 to make room for Hunter Square and Blair Street, these alterations being part of the scheme of improvements of which the construction of the South Bridge was a leading feature.

Mary Queen of Scots and Darnley stayed in the Black Turnpike after their return from Dunbar in 1566, but the tradition that Mary was imprisoned there after her capture at Carberry appears to have originated in a confusion between this house and the house of Sir Simon Preston on the N. side of the High Street, which was also known as the “Black Turnpike” (4). It is uncertain whether James V also stayed there as the guest of the Bishop of Dunkeld, as the Bishop had a second house on the N. side of the High Street.

RCAHMS 1951

(1) Skene, Series of Sketches, p. 80 and Grant, Old and New Edinburgh, i, p. 136. (2) MS. diary preserved in the Signet Library. (3) Memorial of Walter Scott, pp. 98 f. (4) P.S.A.S., lxxiv (1939-40), pp. 116 ff.

References

MyCanmore Image Contributions


Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions