Edinburgh World Heritage

17-19 Hill Street - Mary's Chapel Lodge

Since 1825 this building has been a drawing institution, medicinal baths and is now a Masonic Lodge.

This street was built between 1790 – 1800 and was intended as affordable housing, but quickly became home to professionals and gentry. In 1815 for example the lawyer William Renny had his office at No.19.

Then in 1825-28 No’s 17 and 19 were converted to become a drawing academy and medicinal baths.

The Edinburgh Drawing Institution was established to teach art to the wealthy. They used the top floors of the building as studio space, exhibition rooms and accommodation for the teachers.

The Medicinal Baths were on the first and second floors and offered ‘hot, cold, vapour or shower’ baths, with separate facilities and entrances for ladies and gentlemen. In an advert of 1838 they reassure potential visitors ‘prepared and regulated on a system recommended by the highest medical authorities’ and offered the ‘utmost comfort with longevity’ to users.

In 1893 Mary's Chapel Lodge No 1 bought No.19 and later No.17 and turned the building into a Masonic lodge. The diagram over the main door was designed by a member of the lodge, and incorporates symbols for the different office-bearers of the lodge. 

‹ Return to List