Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Acheson House History

The house was built in 1633 for Sir Archibald Acheson, who was one of King Charles I's Secretaries of State.

Nov 24, 2011

His initials and coat of arms still decorate the outside of the building. In 1935, Acheson House was bought by the Marquess of Bute and restored by the architect Robert Hurd. Acheson House is now owned by the City of Edinburgh Council.

1633 - Acheson House built for Sir Archibald Acheson, a Secretary of State for King Charles I. Acheson probably never gets to live in his new house as he dies the following year.

1636 - Property sold to Patrick Wood, a wealthy Edinburgh merchant. Through the rest of the seventeenth and early eighteenth century Acheson House is sold many times, often in settlement of debts.

1784 - Property bought by the Incorporation of Bakers in the Canongate.

1830 - The property is taken by John Slater, and then stays in the family for almost hundred years. The 1851 census shows a total of 323 people living in the buildings around Bakehouse Close, indicating a real decline in living standards.

1924 - Acheson House taken over by the council as part of a slum clearance scheme in the Canongate.

1935 - Following a series of letters to The Scotsman drawing attention to its plight, the property is bought by the Marquess of Bute, who commissions the architect Robert Hurd to lead the restoration project.

1938 - Suggested as the official residence of the Secretary of State for Scotland.

1939 - Becomes the parish house for the nearby Canongate Kirk, and is used as a base by the Iona Community.

1950s - Acheson House becomes the Scottish Craft Centre.

1991 - The house returns to the ownership of the City of Edinburgh Council.

2011 - EWH establishes its office in Acheson House, and work begins to include the ground floor in the Museum of Edinburgh.

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