What is a Close

A close is a very narrow lane that join two larger roads. It houses taverns,shops and residences. These lively closes are also practical shortcuts.

What's in a name

Close were usually named after their tenement owner (see chapter onLandowners). Mary King was the daughter of AlexanderKing, a wealthy advocate and local landlord. SeeDerivation of Edinburgh Street Names

Specifications of Mary King's Close

Length: 65 yards
Width: 7 feet
Drop of 60 feet from top tobottom
Links up to the East withCraigs Close
Two large rooms 12 feet wideand one 90 feet
At one time went right downto the North Loch
Cut short by railway andbuilding of Cockburn Street in 1853
Close was 11 storeys high
This Close took its namefrom one Mary King who owned some of the houses therein

Key Events in the History of Mary King's Close

Plague in 1645 under thereign of Charles 1st
Fire in 1750 under the reignof George 2nd
Royal Exchange built between1753 and 1761 at a cost of £31,000
It became the City Chambersin 1811
New Building C/A Dept. in1932