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Chisholm House

Located on the east side of Surgeons' Square in the High School Yards of Central Edinburgh, Chisholm House represents the last of a series of fine town houses which once surrounded the square. These were once occupied by surgeons who had their meeting place in the adjacent Surgeons' Hall (1697) and grew wealthy both through their curative skills but also through the private anatomy classes which gained popularity in the early 19th century. One of these (long demolished) was home to Dr. Robert Knox (1791 - 1862) who acquired his bodies from the infamous Burke and Hare.

Chisholm House was built in 1764 and comprises three storeys plus an attic and basement. It overlooks the Flodden Wall to the east and became part of the hospital complex which developed on the site from the mid 19th century. Following a complete refurbishment in 1995, is now the location for the Institute of Governance and the Science Studies Unit within the University of Edinburgh. Previously the building was part of the University's Geography Department, and indeed is named after George Chisholm (1850 - 1930), the first lecturer in Geography at Edinburgh, and served as a base for the Tourism and Recreation Research Unit in the 1970s. The building was B-listed in 1974 and orange lime-wash was applied following an external restoration in 2008.


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