Gladstone's Land

City of Edinburgh | Old Town | Historic building | ★★★

[Gladstone's Land (left)]

Edinburgh's Royal Mile is today a bustling hub largely full of souvenir shops and tourist services, and it's therefore all too easy to forget about the people who (still) call this part of the Old Town home. Life goes on for many local residents in centuries-old tenement blocks: imposing flats on several floors linked by a common staircase. Worldwide, tenements may have negative connotations, but in Scotland the name has long covered a multitude of urban accommodation ranging from the very best to the very worst in living conditions. Gladstone's Land lets you discover what tenement life really used to be like in the 17th century, through the eyes of former resident, cloth merchant Thomas Gledstane (Gladstone). Hand-painted ceilings, a servant's room and fine furniture confirm that he was a wealthy man, but his neighbours on other floors may have been very much less fortunate. In any case, these buildings fell into decline following the relocation of the upper class to the New Town in the 1800s, and in fact they were scheduled for demolition before the National Trust for Scotland saved the block in 1934. Photos of the interior weren't permitted on our last visit, but we understand this may have changed.

Location & info

📌 Gladstone's Land ★★★
477B Lawnmarket, Royal Mile, 5-min walk south of Edinburgh Waverley station, G.R.: NT 255736 ///rang.churn.head
🚆 Edinburgh Waverley | 🚌 Numerous local buses | 🚋 Princes Street | 🚗 Car parks / street parking nearby (both charge)
Closed for 2020 | £7 adult / £6 child / free for National Trust for Scotland members


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