Engraving from Old & New Edinburgh - published 1890

Guard-House and Black Turnpike


The High Street above the Tron Kirk

Guard House and Black Turnpike

The Guard-House and the Black Turnpike in the Royal Mile, Edinburgh

  For permission to reproduce, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk

Guard-House and Black Turnpike

The etching above is by James Skene of Rubislaw.

The Guard-House

The low building in the foreground is the Guard- House.  Scott described it as:

"a long, low, ugly building, which, to a fanciful imagination, might have suggested the idea of a long black snail crawling up the middle of the High Street and deforming its beautiful esplanade".

The Black Turnpike

The building behind the Guard-House, standing to the west of the Tron church is the Black Turnpike, reported to have been a sumptuous building,  built in 1461.

It belonged to George Crichton, Bishop of Dunkeld in 1527.  It was the town mansion of the provost of Edinburgh in 1567, and the building from which Mary Queen of Scots was brought, prisoner.

The Black Turnpike was no longer standing when the picture above was published in 1890.

Reconstruction - 1886

Please click on the image below to see a reconstruction of the Black Turnpike that was featured in the 'Old Edinburgh' exhibit at the 1886 International Exhibition of Science and Art at the Meadows:

Marshall Wane  -  Postcard of an exhibit in the1886 Exhibition  -  Edinburgh Old Town, Black Turnpike

The Black Turnpike

Old & New Edinburgh:  Vol 1,  p.134 (Guard-House):  Vol 1,  p.204 (Black Turnpike)