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History of Queens

The history of Queens Guest House is an interesting one and the building was most recently the Jordanian Embassy before we purchased and converted it.  Queens Guest House occupies the former home of Sir James Young Simpson a celebrated Scottish obstetrician discovered the use of chloroform as an anaesthetic for surgical practices in the 1800’s. The Guest House also overlooks Queens Gardens where Robert Louis Stevenson was known to take walks and some say her was inspired there to write Treasure Island.

Queen Street itself was named for Queen Charlotte is steeped in history and prestige. Our neighbours include The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, The Regent Language School, The Royal College of Physicians and The Edinburgh Cookery School.

 

Come and experience the historically-rich and very diverse streets of Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns, uncover Scotland’s past at Edinburgh Castle and enjoy the city’s striking architecture.

Interesting Facts about Edinburgh

  • The earliest known human habitation in the Edinburgh area is from Cramond where evidence was found of a Mesolithic camp-site dated to c. 8500 BC.
  • King Robert Bruce granted Edinburgh a charter in 1329 but it did not become the national capital until 1437, following the murder of King James I at Perth, which had been the capital up to that point.
  • Edinburgh Castle is built high on an impressive 700 million year old extinct volcano called Castle Rock. People have lived on Castle Rock since the Bronze Age, around 850 BC, and there has been a royal castle on the site since at least the 12th century. It is the most important castle in Scotland and has been at the center of numerous wars, having been attacked and besieged many times. Now it is a national monument, museum and tourist attraction.
  • Edinburgh’s nickname, Auld Reekie (Old Smoky), marks an era when the city’s buildings and homes burnt a lot of coal and wood for heat and chimneys would emit columns of smoke into the air.
  • Some have called Edinburgh the Athens of the North. The architecture of Edinburgh’s New Town draws inspiration from ancient Rome and Greece. Look out for features like pillars, porticos, pilasters and statues as you walk around. The earliest comparison between the two cities showed that they had a similar topography, with the Castle Rock of Edinburgh performing a similar role to the Athenian Acropolis.
  • The Royal Mile is called this because it’s a mile long street with two royal buildings on each end – Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace.
  • Tourists can view the mythical Stone of Destiny in Edinburgh Castle’s Crown Room. It is still used for the crowning of English monarchs.
  • Edinburgh has 112 parks and more trees per head of population than any other city in the UK.  The Royal Botanic Garden, founded in 1670, is acknowledged to be one of the finest in the world where unusual and beautiful plants can be found.
  • Edinburgh is said to be one of the most haunted places in Europe because it is home to the Mackenzie Poltergeist, the violent spirit of a 17th century murderer and torturer who haunts Greyfriars Kirkyard.
  • Edinburgh has 112 parks and more trees per head of population than any other city in the UK.  The Royal Botanic Garden, founded in 1670, is acknowledged to be one of the finest in the world where unusual and beautiful plants can be found.
  • In Edinburgh’s Old Town lies the Real Mary King’s Close, a long-forgotten underground series of streets that was built over as the city’s population grew. For years, the hidden Closes of Old Town Edinburgh have been shrouded in myths and mysteries, with blood curdling tales of ghosts and murders, and of plague victims being walled up and left to die. Come and hear these enthralling stories on a tour of Mary King’s Close, found tucked away just off the Royal Mile. The guides will give you a fascinating insight and tell some of the more fascinating tales woven into this hidden part of the city…
  • From 1477-1911, the Grassmarket was the site of one of Edinburgh’s main horse and cattle markets. It was also the location of public executions.
  • J.K. Rowling penned the first novel in her Harry Potter series at the Elephant House cafe on George IV Bridge.
  • Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own fire service.
  • Edinburgh has been voted the fourth most beautiful city in the world, coming out ahead of a string of well-known beauty spots.