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Canongate Tolbooth

Canongate Tolbooth
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Canongate Tolbooth

The Canongate Tolbooth is the oldest remaining building in Edinburgh's Canongate. The Tolbooth was the grand administrative centre for the independent burgh of the Canongate, which developed outside the walls of Edinburgh. It was built on the north side of the street in 1591, in the French style, by the feudal superior of the Burgh, Sir Lewis Bellenden of Auchintoul, whose initials are carved above the Tolbooth Pend. A five-storey building, with a turreted steeple, its forestair led to the Council Chambers and law court, while below was the gaol.

A distinctive clock, dating from 1884, juts out from the side of the tower to overhang the street. A major restoration of c.1875 combined the attic and first floor to create a space now occupied by the People's Story Museum.


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