Edinburgh World Heritage

NE Thistle Street Lane - All the King's Horses

In 1822 this lane housed the royal horses to be used for King George IV's visit.

In August 1822 the scene in this lane would have caused much excitement in the city, as the royal  horses arrived to be stabled - proof that the King himself was about to arrive.

This lane like many others in the New Town was specifically designed for mews and stables. The narrow passageways of the Old Town made travel by coach and horses impossible, so owning one was another status symbol for New Town residents.

King George IV’s visit in 1822 was the first by a monarch in hundreds of years, and Edinburgh was at a fever pitch of excitement. The first sign that he was on his way was the arrival of the royal horses for pulling the King's coach, under the care of coachman Mr Billings. They were kept here at Smith’s Stables, for easy access to Leith where the king was to land.

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