Edinburgh World Heritage - Grassmarket



“Celebrated as a place of bustle and life” Robert Mudie, 1829

The Grassmarket was traditionally the place where cattle and horses were sold, but its wide open space also made it a suitable venue for public hangings. It was here in 1736 that the captain of the city guard, John Porteous, was hung from the pole of a barbers shop by an angry mob.

The Bow Well, Robert Mylne, 1678

In 1674 the city’s got its first piped water supply, with wells designed by the King’s Master Mason Robert Mylne. The system worked with gravity, and water flowed through wooden pipes from a cistern higher up near the High Street.

Look out for...

The Martyr’s Cross at the east end of the Grassmarket which marks the location of the public gallows, where in the 1600’s many Covenanters were hung for their religious


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Charles McKean, Professor of Architectural History at Dundee University, exposes the dark past of the city's underbelly.

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