Edinburgh World Heritage - Canongate


Canongate KirkThe Canongate was originally favoured with the town houses of the nobility and professionals. In 1769 two dukes, sixteen earls, seven barons, seven judges and thirteen baronets had their houses there. Chessel's Court, built by Andrew Chessels, was a mid-century mansion with spacious flats. St John's Street, a high quality tenement development, was commenced in 1765.

Edinburgh's first Playhouse was also in the Canongate, opening in 1756. However it closed in 1786, and as one observer commented:"But of late, since the increase of the buildings in the New Town and south districts the number of these (nobles) has considerably diminished."

Today Bakehouse Close in the Canongate is perhaps the best preserved Old Town close, and a visit here gives a good impression of what living in the old city must have been like.

From a legal document of 1762 we know the complete mixture of people who used to live here, including Lord Adam Gordon; David Doig, merchant; William Dunbar, weaver and Ewen, a letter carrier.

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