Edinburgh Merchant's House

Tom Gomez

Joined January 2008

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Artist's Description

Gladstone’s Land, a 17th century, six storey building that stands on the north side of Edinburgh’s Lawnmarket, not far down the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle, is one of the oldest buildings in the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Completed in 1620, this was the home of a prosperous merchant and contains remarkable original painted ceilings. The first storey flat is a small museum with period furniture (sculpted Scotch bed and Dutch chests) and period decoration (in particular the painted ceilings). The highlight is The Painted Chamber, a bedroom that comes complete with some of the best original ceiling and wall decoration in Scotland. Nearby is the main living room, The Green Room, while elsewhere on this level is a kitchen, with a fold out bed for a servant, and other recreated rooms that complete the accommodation.

Outside the entrance to the building is a hanging sign with the date 1617 and a gilt-copper hawk with outstretched wings. Although not original, the significance of this is that the name “Gledstone” is derived from the Scots word “gled” meaning a hawk.

Within the city, a series of wynds (lanes) and closes (alleys) ran down the sides of the ridge at right angles to the Kingis Hie Street (now the High Street or Royal Mile).

Plots of land were purchased, mainly by merchants, on the sloping sides of the ridge. These plots were known as Tenements (now a generic name for a multi-unit dwelling made up of several apartments (US), or flats (UK)), and the buildings that came to be erected on them were called Lands.

Far too many of the unique buildings that once – literally – packed Edinburgh’s Old Town have been lost in the cause of “improvement”. But some of the original Old Town still remains, in the form of the dense pattern of wynds and closes that fall away either side of the Royal Mile, and, in a few cases, in the form of original surviving buildings. Gladstone’s Land is the most important of them.

Gladstone’s Land is an Historic Scotland Category A Listed Building (HB Number 29233) and is maintained by The National Trust for Scotland.

The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi in the USA)
Canon 18-55mm IS lens
Exif data from the JPG
F-stop f/4.5
ISO 200
Focal length 28 mm

BEST VIEWED LARGER

Three bracketed JPGs converted to HDR in Photomatix.

Related shots can be found at: Edinburgh or you can look at all my HDR shots.

Featured in : Live and Let Live : 19 Feb 10

Artwork Comments

  • Martina Fagan
  • Nik Watt
  • Tom Gomez
  • Nik Watt
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  • shadyuk
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  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
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  • Chris Clark
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  • Bill Wetmore
  • RedHillDigital
  • Tom Gomez
  • Nik Watt
  • Tom Gomez
  • Nik Watt
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