Advocates Close

Advocates Close, off the High Street in the Old Town, offers one of the most beautiful and unexpected views you can find in the city.

The Old Town was, until the development of the New Town 200 years ago, the main location for housing in the city.

Due to the land dropping away steeply on each side the citizens built upwards with tenements reach eight or nine storeys.

Access to courtyards at the rear of the main buildings was through alleyways called closes which add to the honeycomb layout.

Generally named after the original owner of the piece of land, or the function of the buildings, they were private accesses and for security had locking gates at each end.

Paisley Close is decorated with a stone carving and the legend “Heave awa’ lads, I’m no deid yet”, a memorial to an accident in 1861 when the building partially collapsed and 35 people where killed.  As they cleared the debris a boy shouted out to be rescued.

Trunks Close, home of the Scottish Books Trust, has a modern gate giving an idea of how all the closes would have looked 400 years ago.


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