Behold this historic tribute to three famous Scottish writers in the haunting fog of Edinburgh…
This is The Writers’ Museum.
The Museum is housed in what is now known as Lady Stair’s House at the Lawnmarket, on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
The fascinating thing about this medieval-looking building, is that it is not actually very old. At least not by Scottish standards.
According to Wikipedia, “The current building is a clever faux-medieval masterpiece by Stewart Henbest Capper dating from 1892. It was presented by the Earl of Roseberry (who probably commissioned the work) to the city for use as a museum in 1907. Only then did it acquire the name of ‘Lady Stairs House’.”
The original house that occupied this site was built in 1622, but was demolished in 1890. The only thing known to survive from the 1622 structure is the basement cellars, and no doubt, they are dark and spooky!
Lady Stair’s House is now designated a Category A listed building by Historic Environment Scotland.
Let’s have a look inside this faux medieval joint, shall we?
The lives of three giants of Scottish Literature – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson are remembered here through an extensive collection of portraits, works and personal objects.
The small interior feels quite grand and larger than it is thanks to a towering multi-story cathedral ceiling with balconies on the upper floors.
The desk on the left (below) was used by none other than old Robbie Burns of Auld Lang Syne fame. (That’s the song you sing on New Years Eve at the stroke of midnight to bid farewell to the old year.)
Some other notable displays: a plaster cast of Burns’ skull, the printing press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were first produced, Robert Louis Stevenson’s riding boots and the ring given to him by a Samoan chief, engraved with the name ‘Tusitala’, meaning ‘teller of tales’.
The multiple floors are accessed by a spiraling staircase of letters – clever!
What a great way to wile away a chilly Scottish afternoon, perusing through 300 years of writers’ memorabilia.
The Writers Museum is a proper tribute to three Scottish literary legends.
Now, if only they permitted entrance to the original 1620’s basement cellars!