John Knox's House

John Knox's House, Edinburgh
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

John Knox's House, Edinburgh

John Knox's House projects out from the High Street (Edinburgh) and dates from the early 16th Century The original two storeys were heightened possibly as early as 1525, or possibly after the Earl of Hertford burned the city in 1544. By 1847, the house was in a ruinous state, and was on the point of being condemned when it was saved at the insistence of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland on the basis of it having been the home of leader of the Reformation John Knox (c.1513-72). Whether he actually lived here is doubtful, but he would certainly have lived nearby. A major and expensive restoration was undertaken between 1850-3, with some of the work by architect Thomas Hamilton (1784 - 1858).

A fine sundial, incorporating a figure of Moses pointing to the sun partially hidden in the clouds, can be found on the wall above the street. The inside is highly decorated, including fine tempera work and tiled chimney-pieces Today, John Knox's House is run by the Church of Scotland and relics of the Reformation and Knox are on view. It also includes the offices of their Society, Religion and Technology project, set up in 1970, who have carried out pioneering work in the ethics of technology.

Immediately to the W is Moubray House, the oldest occupied building in Edinburgh and next-door to the E is the Netherbow Arts Centre, also run by the Church of Scotland.

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