Adjacent is the Scottish Storytelling Centre, which is steeped in Scottish culture and puts on excellent events for all ages
Found on the Royal Mile, John Knox House dates from around 1490, making it the oldest surviving tenement in Edinburgh. It earned its named by virtue of the fact that John Knox, the Protestant reformer, is reputed to have lived there between 1561 and 1572. John Knox House is thus strongly associated with one of the most turbulent moments in Scottish History: The Scottish Reformation.
Now owned by the Church of Scotland, the first two floors are a museum about John Knox, the evolution of the Protestant faith and the conflict between John Knox and the Roman Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots. If you don’t know the history already, this is a great place to start, along with a trip to St Giles’ Cathedral. But even if you do know the history, the detail here is sure to flesh out your knowledge.
On the second floor is the Oak Room with its hand-carved and painted wood ceiling, depicting some curious scenes (try and find the devil — he’s there somewhere). Soberly decorated, the apartment remains much as John Knox would have known it. You can almost see him scratching away with his quill in the corner, tongue out the side of his mouth, writing his fire and brimstone sermons.
John Knox House has been home to both royalists and reformers. James Mosman, goldsmith to Mary, Queen of Scots, lived in this building during the 1550s. He was devoted to Queen Mary and was one of the “Queen’s Men” who seized Edinburgh castle in a bid to restore her to the throne after her forced abdication. He was hung, drawn and quartered for his troubles.
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