Canongate's Tolbooth, wynds and courts


The Tolbooth is adjacent to the west of Edinburgh's Canongate Kirk, the location of which is indicated by its pink cherry blossom.  It is the large turreted and gabled building in the centre of the photo.  It was the administrative centre of the Burgh of Canongate, comprising courthouse, meeting place and prison.

It was built in 1591, but in fact its present exterior is the result of late 19th century work (as evidenced by the date on its clock) which successfully restored its medieval character.

The extra photos are to give a feel of the many side roads (wynds or courts) to be found on Canongate and the rest of the "royal mile."

(EXTRA PHOTO 1)   Old Tolbooth Wynd

The low door and secure iron-barred window to the right of the arch - visible also in the main photo - was the old prison, from where prisoners were taken for execution.

(EXTRA PHOTO 2)   Bakehouse Court

This court is located just opposite Canongate Kirk, its blossom visible through the archway.  The archway was constructed in 1550.

The doorway to the left was the original main entrance to Huntly House, which is now home to the Museum of Edinburgh.  The multi-storied houses in this court date back to the 17th century.

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