Discover Edinburgh Things to Do in Edinburgh Museums The Writer's Museum


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Lady Stair's Close,
Edinburg EH1 2PA

Tel : 0131 529 4901
The Writer's Museum in Edinburgh is superbly situated in a charming narrow lane just off the Lawnmarket in the city's medieval Old Town. Managed by Edinburgh City Council and free of charge to all visitors, this charming museum uncovers Edinburgh's rich literary past and houses an intriguing collection of exhibits pertaining to the life and times of Scotland's greatest authors and poets, particularly Robert Burns (1759 - 96), Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 -94) to name but a few.

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Visitors can marvel at an exquisite array of literary memorabilia, old manuscripts and other artefacts that belonged to Scotland's renowned authors of the 18th and 19th Century, including the UK's largest collection devoted to Edinburgh-born author, Robert Louis Stevenson. Absorb the opulent surroundings and affluence that resonates in the reconstructed dining room of Sir Walter Scott's grand Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh's Castle Street.

Get up close to the magnificent early 19th Century printing press that published en masse Sir Walter's Scott's Waverly classics such as 'Rob Roy and 'Heart of Midlothian' at the nearby J. Ballantyne and Co. Publishing House and Printworks. In addition, there is a superb collection of enthralling artefacts dedicated to Scotland's Bard, Robert Burns who is well renowned the world over for his timeless lyrics of 'Auld Lang Syne' and ' Parcel of Rogues'. Although born and raised in Ayrshire, Burns previously lodged within proximity to the Writer's Museum and various exhibits in this remarkable Burns collection relate to his life in late 18th Century Edinburgh through anecdotes, historical accounts and photographs.

The Writer's Museum also presents a more contemporary theme in Scotland's literary arena and pays homage to some of the country's finest novelists through showcasing their works and giving visitors an insight into their ingenious literary styles. Notable authors that have been exhibited in temporary exhibitions include two prolific Edinburgh-born writers, Ian Rankin and Irvine Welsh.

The remarkably restored building that houses The Writer's Museum is steeped in history and was the previous home of The Museum of Childhood which relocated to its current home in 1963. Dating from the 17th Century, this three-story medieval townhouse is known as Lady Stair's House, in honour of the widow of the 1st Earl of Stair who purchased the house 1719 and took up permanent residence there in 1759. Archibald Primrose, a descendant of Lady's Primrose's first husband, subsequently bought Lady Stair's House over a century later and gifted this stunning architectural showpiece to the people of Edinburgh in a beautifully preserved condition in 1907.

As you enter or leave the museum at Makar's Court, testimony to Scotland's literary excellence is evident through a series of quotations penned by Scottish Authors, each engraved in the slabs in the courtyard of this magnificent small museum.