John Knox House, as it’s now known, dates back to the 15th century and its distinctive style means it’s been a prominent landmark in the Old Town of Edinburgh for generations of writers.



The man who made Scotland over again

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote these words about religious reformer John Knox who, it’s believed, spent his last days here. The full quote – which isn’t entirely flattering to Knox – is taken from Stevenson’s book Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes:

“In the Parliament Close, trodden daily underfoot by advocates, two letters and a date mark the resting-place of the man who made Scotland over again in his own image, the indefatigable, undissuadable John Knox. He sleeps within call of the church that so often echoed to his preaching.”




Edinburgh Picturesque Notes, by Robert Louis Stevenson.


John Knox House is now open as a museum, where visitors can learn more about the building and Knox’s link with the abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The ancient building has been integrated with the modern Scottish Storytelling Centre, and the Edinburgh City of Literature Trust has recently found accomodation in the same complex.