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Edinburgh, Lawnmarket, Lady Stair's Close, Lady Stair's House

House (Period Unassigned), Museum (19-20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Lawnmarket, Lady Stair's Close, Lady Stair's House

Classification House (Period Unassigned), Museum (19-20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Lady Gray's House; 10 North Bank Street

Canmore ID 52529

Site Number NT27SE 64

NGR NT 25550 73603

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 64 25550 73603

(NT 2555 7360) Lady Stair's House, built in 1622 was originally called Lady Gray's House after the widow of the first proprietor. It was purchased in 1719 by their granddaughter Elizabeth, first Countess of Stair, with whom it became identified. It was bought in 1895 by the Earl of Roseberry, restored by him in 1897 and given to the City in 1907 for use as a municipal museum. Built of rubble with freestone dressings, the house is of 3 main storeys and an attic, oblong on plan from either end of which extensions of 1700 have been removed, as well as a wing of 1725 which extended on the W. When these additions were removed, both gables had to be rebuilt, and there is also much modern work on the W side.

RCAHMS 1951; T B Whitson 1910.

No change from previous field report. The building is now in use as a museum.

Visited by OS (S F S) 26 November 1975.

Architecture Notes

ARCHITECT: George Shaw Aitken (restoration) 1897

Original house 1622


Vol II, No 10, "Water Colour Sketches"-Series by Thomas Brown, Advocate Reference-"Adv. MSS.34.8.1-3" -1 view

(Undated) information in NMRS.


Field Visit (1951)

A 15th-century grave-slab probably from the churchyard of Holyrood, complete but for the upper edge. It now measures 5 feet in length and tapers from 1 ft. 5 in. in width at the top to 1 ft. 2 1/2 in. at the bottom. It bears a floriated cross with a foiled base, incised above a chalice and paten. Around the margin run two heavily contracted inscriptions in Gothic lettering, there being two persons commemorated. The first, unfortunately incomplete at the beginning and towards the end, reads ... CANON[ICVS] S(AN)C(T)E + QUI OBIIT DIE ME(N)SIS . [...A D M} CCCCC. ('Here lies ... Canon of the monastery of Holyrood who died on the ... day of the month of .... in the years of the Lord 1500'). The second inscription runs HIC IACET D(OMPNVS) V(ILLELMVS or ALTERVS) LAMB FR(ATER) OR(DINIS) EIVSDE(M) Q(VI) OBIIT IX D(IE) D(ICTI) M[ENSIS} ('Here lies Sir William (or Walter) Lamb, brother of the same order, who died on the 9th day of the said month').

At the time of the RCAHMS visit, this was held amongst a collection of carved stones in Lady Stair's House.

RCAHMS 1951, page 80 (17)


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