When we visited Edinburgh we went on a tour of The Real Mary King’s Close which is a historical tourist attraction.
The tour is given by actors who are dressed in costumes and takes you down below the streets of Edinburgh into the closes which were buried.
The closes were buried when the city officials decided, in 1753, to build a brand new Royal Exchange building (which is now the City Chambers). The Royal Mile, which is the road that the closes run off from, lies on a hill and all of the roads or closes which run from it go downhill quite sharply. This means that Mary Kings Close is incredibly steep. The city officials decided to knock down houses which were high up on the road (closer to the Royal Mile) to make space for the new building, but kept the houses which were further down to use as a foundation.
On the tour, we were taken around different residences and told about the people that lived there; what they did for a living and how they lived. There was even some furniture and other articles in some of the houses so that we could see how they lived. It was amazing to walk through the houses and imagine people living there. The houses were built up to 7 stories high and they were built incredibly close together – I guess the term ‘close’ was an apt description of the houses at the time! The fact that they were so tall, and so close together meant that there was very little natural light that reached the ground. It is hard to imagine living in such cramped, dark space.
There have been many reports of supernatural activity at the Close, but we didn’t experience anything whilst we were there. It was quite eerie, walking through the houses though.
Edinburgh has so much history to tell, it was great to experience this part of it. When we go back, I will definitely look into other tours that are available and try to do as many of them as possible.