South Gray's Close

(Mint Close)

A passageway which becomes a narrow street extending south for 150m (500 feet) from the High Street to the Cowgate, in the Old Town of Edinburgh, South Gray's Close lies between Toddrick's Wynd to the west and Hyndford's Close to the east. The name originates from John Gray who owned property here, and there is no connection with North Gray's Close. It was also known as Mint Close because the Royal Mint of Scotland was based here from 1575 till 1817. Many notables lived here; Henry Erskine, the 10th Earl of Buchan (1710-67), whose son another Henry Erskine (1746 - 1817) was a politician and lawyer, and William Erskine (1750 - 1823) who gained prominence as Lord Chancellor of Britain, and scientist Prof. William Cullen (1710-90), whose son became the jurist Lord Cullen (1742 - 1810). Other properties here were owned by the Earls of Hyndford, Rosslyn and Selkirk, and the Wedderburns of Gosford. Today, the Museum of Childhood bridges the entrance to South Gray's Close, St Patrick's Church lies to the east further down the street and modern hotel is located at its southern termination.

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