The Real Mary King’s Close Edinburgh
The Real Marys King Close, 2 Warristons Close, High Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1PG
MONTHS OPENJanuary, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
What we offer on a school trip
The Real Mary King’s Close is a five star visitor attraction located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Whilst at the attraction, visitors embark on a journey through time as they uncover streets and houses hidden beneath one of the city’s most famous thoroughfares.
The Real Mary King’s Close is an award winning attraction that offers a totally unique experience for school groups. It consists of a network of four streets below the Royal Mile, containing the remains of original town houses and rooms, spanning four centuries of history dating back to the 1500s. These narrow streets, with houses originally built up to seven stories high, were used as the foundations for the Royal Exchange (now the City Chambers) when it was built directly over the top of the streets in 1753, hiding them for over two centuries.
A costumed character guides bring to life the many real stories behind the closes, revealing the fascinating twists and turns of past lives in the underground streets, giving a glimpse of life from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Teachers and students are taken back in time to experience the home of a grave digger whose family were struck down by the ‘black death’, the workshop of the saw-maker Andrew Chesney, who was the last resident to leave the street and the home of the famous Close’s namesake, an affluent widow and merchant seamstress called Mary King.
Discover some of the most dramatic episodes from Edinburgh’s incredible past and hear the real stories of the people who lived, worked and died on these hidden closes.