The John Knox House is a charming 16th-century home with remains that date back to 1470, making it one of the oldest homes in Edinburgh. History enthusiasts will find the home fascinating, especially for those with a keen interest in religion, photography or architecture. You should allow about an hour to enjoy your visit.

    The house is aesthetically pleasing with its small spiral staircases, low ceilings, exposed wooden beams and beautifully painted ceiling. A visit to this historic home will allow you to learn about Scottish Reformation and to view the dwellings of the inhabitants from over 400 years ago. John Knox is said to have been often seen leaning out a little window on the first level to preach to the townspeople, and to this day looking out this window provides a magnificent view of Royal Mile.

    John Knox House in Edinburgh - one of the highlights of 10 Best Museums in Edinburgh (Read all about Edinburgh here)

    Highlights of John Knox House

    The facade of the building is truly magnificent. You can access the second level of the building from the street via the front stairway. It’s there that you can see the timber galleries extended from the first floor, which are both signature features of High Street architecture of the 16th and 17th centuries. You’ll notice a figure of Moses on his knees before a sundial next to the sun with the word God translated in Greek, Latin and English. This was originally meant to resemble John Knox preaching. The small pulpit underneath the figure is no longer there. As you explore the first floor, you can view what remains of medieval ‘luckenbooths’, or locked booths, which were once leased as shops. The upper level features the Oak Room and panelled in beautiful wood and highlights is an intricately painted ceiling dating back to the early 1600s.

    History of the John Knox House

    The House was originally built in 1556 by Mariota Arres and James Mossman and is still adorned with their coat of arms and inscription, “Lufe God abufe al and yi nychtbour as yi self.” While the house is named after John Knox, it is unknown if he resided there, but he was a frequent visitor and is thought to have lived there briefly before his death. John Knox was a challenging adversary of Mary, Queen of Scotts because of his function as both the founder of the Scottish Presbyterian Church and leader of the Scottish Reformation, which lead to the overthrow of Mary, Queen of Scots after the civil war. The association with Knox did save the historic space from being destroyed in the 1840s. In the 1800s , the building was restored and was opened as a museum. 

    Good to know about the John Knox House

    To get the most out of your experience, you can download a mobile guide that will bring to life the daily lives of inhabitants, as well as explain the story of John Knox and the history of the house. There is a cafe onsite, which offers coffees, delicious sweets and light lunch items. While you’re in the area, you may like to visit the Museum of Childhood, where you can view a wide variety of children’s toys of the past and present. Or, you might take a quick shopping trip at nearby Waverly Mall. If you’re looking for lunch or dinner, there are several restaurants where you can enjoy seafood, pizza, Chinese, French, pizza and much more.

    John Knox House in Edinburgh

    Lokasi: Scottish Storytelling Centre, High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SR, UK

    Buka: Wednesday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Telepon: +44 (0)1315 569579

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