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Gladstone’s Land, one of the oldest buildings in the Royal Mile

As I wrote in the title, Gladstone’s Land is one of the oldest buildings in the Royal Mile, Edinburgh. Gladstone’s Land was the house of a wealthy merchant and landlord and it shows how the rich used to live in the 17th century. The house has 6 rooms across two floors and it’s authentically restored.

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Thomas Gledstanes, the one that lived here, was a merchant. He was trading in vinegar, honey, prunes and iron pots in early 17th century. By 1617 he earned enough money to be able to invest in the property. This house is now one of Edinburgh’s few surviving six-storey 17th-century tenement buildings. The house was built 70 years before Gledstanes bought it. He extended the house toward the street and that was a good idea as it attracted important tenants, like titled gentleman and a minister. These tenants were sharing the stairwell with a tavern owner and other merchants.

The house was derelict and scheduled for demolition when National Trust for Scotland purchase it in 1934. It was restored to how it would have looked like in its heyday.

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One of the things I was most puzzled of was the way they used to conduct their business from their living quarters. The bedroom was in the same place as the dinning room and a sort of a study. The room guide told us this is how it was in Edinburgh. It’s very different than how things were in England and Wales too.
Beside the bed there was a big round table and there are some stairs with an entrance that would have been used at that time.

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The wood was scarce at time of the building and extending of the house. So light coloured wood was imported from the continent. It didn’t look as nice as the dark wood and that meant the only option was to paint it to look nicer. It’s another thing I never saw before in a National Trust property. I think it looks really nice.

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The kitchen was small and cosy, on the first floor.

I enjoyed visiting the house, it’s different than the houses I’m used to and it was lovely to learn about it.

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