One of our most fascinating and unique places to stay in the Old Town Chambers is our Townhouse. Located on Advocates Close, with it’s own entrance this geneously proportioned apartment is set over three floors and is steeped in history.
Find out more about the Townhouse
The first record of the building can be found in March 1490/1, with its owner named as Andrew Bertram who was a wealthy merchant, involved in overseas trade. He was briefly provost (mayor) of the burgh in 1498.
It was built in the 15th century and for two centuries it was the home of wealthy and influential city figures before the exodus of Edinburgh’s elite to the New Town.
One of the remaining original internal features that suggests it was home to the wealthy is the high quality painted ceilings on the present upper floors in the town house. This style of painting was only adorned in the homes of the wealthiest merchant classes and aristocrats as they were the only ones who could afford this type of decoration.
Another original feature includes the beams also on the top floor, dendrochronological (tree ring) analysis has shown that the beams are of Norwegian oak felled between 1589 and 1591.
The property was bought by Andrew Cor in 1553 and was inherited on his death in 1564 by his son Clement Cor, both merchants.
The inscription and armorial dated 1590, on the surround of the northernmost pair of closely adjacent doors entering from the close, bears the initials of Clement Cor and his wife Helen Bellenden who inherited the property in 1564.
It also depicts his armorial achievement, a ‘cross, engrailed, between a heart in the first and fourth cantons and a rose in the second and third’. The other door-surround also bears his initials and his merchant’s mark.
In the late 1700s the old house was a small brewery for some years, during which time the old fireplaces dating from the 1400s were bricked up and thus preserved.
The fireplaces were only revealed when the City Council took over and restored the building in the 1980s. Following refurbishment it was occupied by the Old Town Committee for Conservation and Renewal and was later used as an art gallery.
Come and find out more about The Townhouse and book a stay.