The Canons’ Gait stands next to Chessel’s Court, scene of an infamous crime which is said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Deacon Brodie was a City Councillor and master cabinet maker who would make duplicate keys of his intricate pieces and go back to steal from the owners in the dead of night. However, like many before him, greed took over as his debts grew and he set his sights on the Chessel’s Court Customs Office. He was caught and his incredible double life was exposed.



Man is not truly one, but truly two

– Robert Louis Stevenson




Legend has it that a young Stevenson had a Brodie cabinet in his bedroom, and it was this which inspired him to write about the duality of man.

This cabinet can be seen in the Edinburgh Writers’ Museum, just a ten minute walk away in the Lawnmarket.


The Canons’ Gait is a popular pub and takes its name from the area’s historic title, the ‘gait’ or way made by the canons (priests) from Holyrood Abbey. It has nothing to do with cannons.