John Knox House

Step Inside History

  • Walk in the footsteps of its famous inhabitants
  • Hear the drama unfold in every room
  • Look out for the tricks and traps to fool intruders
  • Hunt for the devil hiding in The Oak Room ceiling
  • Pit yourself against our portrait puzzles

John Knox House dates back to 1470, which makes it and Moubray House attached, the oldest, original medieval building surviving on the Royal Mile.

The house is associated with one of the most dramatic and turbulent times in Scottish History – The Scottish Reformation – which resulted in the outbreak of civil war and the abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Although John Knox only stayed in this house for a short time before his death in 1572, it was his association with it that saved it from demolition in the 1840s.

During an excavation of the house, time-capsules were found buried in the gable wall and to commemorate the moment the building was saved. One of these time capsules is displayed in the window.

General Admission:

£5 (£4 Conc)
Children over 7:    £1
Children under 7:  Free

 

Opening times:

Mon- Sat: 10am-6pm
Sundays: 10am – 6pm (July & August only)

Whose house is it anyway?

James Mosman – jeweller and goldsmith to Mary, Queen of Scots – lived in the house from the 1550s with his wife Mariotta Arries who inherited the property from her parents.

Their initials can still be seen on the outside facade of the building.

Mosman was extremely loyal to Queen Mary and was part of the ‘Queen’s men’, who seized Edinburgh Castle in an attempt to restore Mary to the throne after her forced abdication in favour of her protestant son, James VI.

Explore the house to find out the fate of James Mosman, which led to his execution in 1573.

History of the House

Guides & Tours

Written guides for the house are available from Reception which point out interesting parts of the building you may otherwise miss.

Translations of our guide are available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Czech.

 

Take it a step further and experience one of our bespoke tours exploring John Knox House and the surrounding Netherbow area.

Bespoke Story Tours