Lady Stair's Close

Lady Stair's Close (477 Lawnmarket) is a close in Edinburgh, Scotland, just off the Royal Mile, close to the entrance to Gladstone's Land. Most notably it contains the Scottish Writers' Museum.


Located in Edinburgh's Lawnmarket, Lady Stair's Close is the location of a 17th-century townhouse called Lady Stairs House built in 1622 for Sir William Gray of Pittendrum, an Edinburgh Baronet. It was originally called Lady Gray's House after the widow of the first proprietor.[1] It was then bought in 1719 by Elizabeth Dundas, Lady Stair,[2] the widow of John Dalrymple (1648 - 1707) the first Earl of Stair, hence its present name.[3]

The close contains the Makars' Court - inscribed stones to the great names of Scottish literature.[4]

Writers' Museum

This building, belonging to the city of Edinburgh, contains memorabilia which celebrate the lives of three writers who all at one time lived in Edinburgh: Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Robert Burns. Burns stayed in a house in Baxter's Close (since demolished) to the east of Lady Stair's Close during his first trip to Edinburgh in 1786.[5]

See also


  1. Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
  2. Elizabeth., Berry, (1990). The writing on the walls. Cockburn Association. Edinburgh: Published by the Cockburn Association in collaboration with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Saltire Society. ISBN 0950515922. OCLC 24699879.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  3. "Lady Stair's Close", Royal-Mile Edinburgh
  4. "Makars' Court". Edinburgh Museums & Galleries. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  5. Canmore, RCAHMS. "Edinburgh, 475 and 479 Lawnmarket, Baxter's Close". Retrieved 2 February 2014.

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