The Real Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh – A 17th Century Street worth a Visit

Edinburgh is a wonderful city that thrives with historical buildings, a castle once the home to Mary Queen of Scott’s and a city built over streets from the 16th Century.

In fact, they made a tourist attraction out of one such street called Mary King’s Close.

Overcrowding in Edinburgh during the 17th century was in part due to the streets tightly packed at right angles to the Royal Mile. This was a ridge that linked the castle with Holyrood.

These side streets were steep and led down to the river below.

Mary King’s Close was a typical street with vaults either side of the Close and little or no natural daylight.

As we were guided by our aptly dressed guide called Agnes, a maid from the 15th Century,

we discovered how people lived, how they disposed of human waste down the close and how eventually many died from the Black Plague.

This is a unique visitor attraction that lasts for an hour, runs like clockwork and shouldn’t be missed if you’re visiting Edinburgh.

At the end of the tour although you can’t take photos yourself there is an opportunity to buy a photo showing you standing in the actual street where at 7am and 10pm maids like Agnes would shout “Gardyloo!” as the human waste would be thrown into this very street!

If you’d like to visit then I suggest you book via their website here