Places to visit

Gladstone's Land

Gladstone's Land

One of the oldest buildings on Edinburgh's Royal Mile

  • Admire one of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile, housing wealthy residential and commercial tenants in its heyday.

  • View hand-painted Renaissance interiors with deep hidden meanings.

  • See the 1600s stone arches, built to shelter customers but which became the ideal place for criminal activity.

  • Spot the gilded bird of prey that hangs outside the house.

The best address in town ...

Just a stone’s throw from the castle, this 500-year-old building is a towering testament to tenement life in Edinburgh’s Old Town and was once owned by merchant Thomas Gladstone. He extended and remodelled the building to attract wealthy tenants for his opulently decorated apartments, as well as for the high-end grocer and cloth shop on the ground floor and the tavern located in the basement.

By the 1800s, only the poorest of the city’s inhabitants remained in the Old Town. Gladstone’s Land was one of the first buildings the National Trust for Scotland acquired, rescuing it from demolition in 1934.