When merchant Thomas Gledstanes purchased the building which now bears his name in 1617, it had a wooden facade and a wooden gallery above the floor – a typical house of the 16th Century. Gledstane modernized it, replacing the wooden facade with stone arches and let out parts of the building to an assortment of tenants of different social classes.
The term “land” has been used for multi-storey apartment buildings which were built in Edinburgh due to lack of space at the time, some reaching 10 storeys in height. The wealthy citizens lived in the middle floors, while the poor resided at ground level or on the top floor.
Gladstone’s Land is the only surviving version of a town house from the 17th Century. It was taken over by the National Trust in 1934, who have since restored the first two floors of the building. As in ancient times one enters the house through a little shop on the ground floor where food stored in barrels was sold by the yard – the yard stick can still be seen on the wall.
The rooms upstairs are equipped with original furniture from the 17th Century.The kitchen has been faithfully reconstructed with utensils and furniture which mimic the former design. Ceiling paintings in the “Painted Chamber” originating from the year 1620 are evidence of a then very popular form of room decoration in Scotland, have since been restored to their former glory.
More information can be found at the Official Site.
How to get there
477b Lawnmarket, Edinburgh
Served by Edinburgh’s Hop-on Hop-off Tour Bus
1 April – 31 October daily 10:00-5:00 (last admission 4:30).
July & August 10:00-6:30 (last admission 6:00)
Adult – £6
Family – £15.50
1 parent – £10.50
Concession – £5