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28 Feb 2020

Fresh flavour for historic Royal Mile building

Artist’s impressions of the new ground floor at Gladstone’s Land
Artist’s impressions of the new ground floor at Gladstone’s Land
Gladstone’s Land, the Royal Mile townhouse, is undergoing a £1.4 million transformation over the next few months.

We’ve just started work updating the visitor experience at the 500-year-old building, creating a new ice cream and coffee parlour on the ground floor which weaves 17th-century details into the design. 

The self-catering apartments will also be upgraded – with nods to the unique property’s historical past – and the events programme will also get a complete overhaul.

The project, which keeps the historical nature of the building at the forefront of the refurbishments, commenced earlier this month. It’s the latest in a series of investments by our conservation charity, which protects Scotland’s national and natural treasures at properties across the country. We’re already hard at work on a project to transform the visitor experience at House of Dun in Angus. 

Gladstone’s Land, located just a few hundred feet from Edinburgh Castle, was once one of the most prestigious addresses in the city. A visit provides a glimpse of what life was like for its 16th- and 17th-century tenants, including clergymen, merchants and investors. The original painted ceilings are among the city’s best-remaining examples of this traditional decorating technique.

“We’ve drawn on Gladstone’s Land’s long history as a trading post and commercial site as inspiration for our plans here on the Royal Mile. ”
Stuart Maxwell, General Manager Edinburgh & East

Stuart continued: ‘Built for a merchant, it was involved in the importing of tea, coffee, chocolate and spices, which will all flavour the new experience and the stories we will tell here. These changes will make a trip to Gladstone’s Land even richer and give people more reasons to come back and sample it again and again.’

Gladstone’s Land is expected to reopen to the public in summer 2020.

The National Trust for Scotland works every day to protect Scotland’s national and natural treasures. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, we protect all of this For the Love of Scotland.

In Our Strategy for Protecting Scotland’s Heritage 2018–23we set out how we’re planning to work towards our vision that Scotland’s heritage is valued by everyone and protected now, and for future generations.

Exterior close-up view of the upper storeys of Gladstone’s Land
Gladstone’s Land