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Gladstone’s Land teacher information

Gladstone’s Land is a typical example of a 17th-century Edinburgh ‘land’ (or tenement building) of the overcrowded Old Town. These ‘lands’ grew up along the Royal Mile – the ridge running between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyrood.

A visit to Gladstone’s Land provides a unique opportunity to experience how people lived in 17th-century Edinburgh. The merchant’s home features three painted ceilings dating from 1620 as well as a range of fascinating furniture and social history objects.

The school programme begins with an introduction to Old Town Edinburgh and continues with a special tour of the property. Pupils can dress in 17th-century style clothing for the tour, and there are replica handling objects to enhance their learning.

Possible topics

  • Edinburgh Old Town
  • 17th- and 18th-century social history
  • Traditional architecture

Resources for schools

  • An education pack to assist teachers planning a visit to the property can be found below.
  • A resource pack, including worksheets and more detailed historical information, is available on request.
  • We also welcome secondary and foreign language schools as well as university groups - please contact Gladstone’s Land to discuss your requirements.

Planning your class visit

  • To book: please email or call 0131 226 5856
  • Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Gladstone’s Land is open for educational visits all year round.
  • School visits last approximately 2 hours. Shorter visits can also be arranged.
  • Maximum class size: 30 with a ratio of 1 teacher/adult to 15 pupils
  • Access: Due to the nature of Gladstone’s Land, the house is not fully accessible – however, please inform staff about any pupils with access or additional support needs when booking, and alternative arrangements can be made. You can also check the Gladstone’s Land webpage for further information.
  • Toilets are available for school groups.
  • There are no refreshments available at the site, but snacks/lunches may be eaten in the property by prior arrangement.
  • The site has been risk assessed. Teachers are expected to prepare their own risk assessment for the visit (there’s information in the education pack to assist with this). 


  • There’s a charge of £2 per pupil for schools with Trust educational membership.
  • Non-member schools are welcome but there’s an admission charge of £4 per pupil.
  • Accompanying adults are admitted free.
  • Class teachers are encouraged to make a free preparatory visit to the site.

During your class visit

  • On arrival: please report to reception on the ground floor. 
  • National Trust for Scotland staff will lead the school programme.
  • Further information about the visit can be found in the education pack.
  • Teachers are responsible for their pupils and their behaviour.
  • Pupils do not need to bring materials for the school programme.

“We loved the whole house.” Primary 3, Fettes Prep School

“We really enjoyed our visit and will most definitely visit again.” Primary 6, St Margaret’s School

“You did a great job – thanks again!” Primary 6, Colinton Primary School


If you prefer to print this information you can use this download.