Writers' Museum

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The Scottish Writers' Museum located at Lady Stair's Close in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Writers' Museum sign

The Writers’ Museum, housed in Lady Stair’s House at the Lawnmarket, on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, presents the lives of three of the foremost Scottish writers: Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Run by the City of Edinburgh Council, the collection includes portraits, works and personal objects.

Beside the museum lies the Makars' Court, the country's emerging national literary monument.

Lady Stair's House[edit]

Lady Stair's House (3 Lady Stair's Close, 477 Lawnmarket) is located within Lady Stair's Close, just off the Lawnmarket. The house was built in 1622 for Sir William Gray of Pittendrum, but the interior has been converted since then. The lintel over the entrance is dated 1622 and carries the initials WG and GS, for William Gray and Geida (or Egidia) Smith, his wife, and the inscription "FEARE THE LORD AND DEPART FROM EVILL". The building was initially known as Lady Gray's House.

The tenement is now named after the Gray's granddaughter, society beauty Lady Stair (Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Stair; née Elizabeth Dundas), the widow of John Dalrymple, 1st Earl of Stair. She purchased the building in 1719.

Following a proposal by Patrick Geddes, in 1893 it was bought by Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, a descendant of Lady Stair's first husband, and restored by George Shaw Aitken during 1896-7. In 1907, the Earl gave the house to the royal burgh of Edinburgh, for use as a municipal museum.[1]

Lady Stair's House is designated a Category A listed building by Historic Scotland.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Site Record for Edinburgh, Lawnmarket, Lady Stair's Close, Lady Stair's House NT27SE 64". Canmore. Edinburgh: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  2. ^ "LAWNMARKET, LADY STAIR'S CLOSE, LADY STAIR'S HOUSE (Ref:29231)". Listed Buildings. Edinburgh: Historic Scotland. Retrieved 29 September 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°56′59″N 3°11′37″W / 55.9497°N 3.1937°W / 55.9497; -3.1937