Today in Edinburgh I took my boys to see “Mary Kings Close”, a “new” attraction that is hundreds of years old.
Absolutely fascinating… and OLD… in 1753 the great and the good of Edinburgh built what is now the City Chambers in the Old Town area off the Royal Mile. No, the attraction is nothing to do with that 250 year old building, it is the buildings that are UNDERNEATH that building.
In short, there were ancient buildings in narrow streets built onto the hillside (called “closes”) that dated back many hundreds of years….. and in order to build a building at street level from the Royal Mile, they “decapitated” the old buildings and used their walls as foundations.
So, two years ago they finally opened this hidden area up as a tourist attraction, recreating what it was like to live there all those centuries ago…… just mindblowing, when you think of urban history going back that far.
Oh, and all of this is about 200 yards from the main railway station, from which every day tourists arrive, look up at Edinburgh Castle (and yes, parts of that date back over 800 years) and say “look honey, ain’t it great they built the castle so close to the railway station”
For more on Mary Kings Close, visit their website here