I took this shot in the morning while on my way to meet up with my fellow bubblers on the Sunday outing in Edinburgh.
Located towards the eastern end of the Canongate at the bottom of the Royal Mile, not far from Holyrood Palace, is one of the most picturesque closes (or passageways) of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Despite its ‘olde-worlde’ appearance, most of White Horse Close is rather more recent than the 1623 date it displays. In fact this date-stone was modified in the 1930s, having previously recorded an implausible 1523.
This was the site of the Royal Mews in the sixteenth century, and later was known by several names including Laurence Ord’s Close and Davidson’s Close. Ord rebuilt the existing tenement and erected the White Horse Inn and coaching stables in 1623 which he named in honour of Mary, Queen of Scots white palfrey. It was from here that the coach left Edinburgh for London. The journey took a week. Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s officers were quartered at the Inn when they entered Edinburgh in 1745.
The current name, White Horse Close, is probably derived from the name of the Inn.
The close was rebuilt as worker’s houses in 1889 and completely reconstructed in the vernacular style by Frank Mears & Partners (1961-4). The result is described by Gifford et. al. in the Edinburgh volume of the ‘Buildings of Scotland’ as so blatantly fake that it can be acquitted of any intention to deceive, but remains a small fantasy worth experiencing.
William Dick (1793 – 1866), founder of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (now part of the University of Edinburgh) was born here.
The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Camera: Canon EOS 60D
Lens: Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM
BEST VIEWED LARGER
Single RAW image Tonemapped in Photomatix Pro.