The Writers Museum celebrates the lives of three great Scottish Writers, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Robert Burns. It is situated in the Lawnmarket area of Edinburgh's old town.
Lawnmarket, Edinburgh is a mix of tightly packed shops and housing. Amongst the many shop front signs a rather impressive red signpost stood out. It read the Writers Museum, but I could not see a museum!. Then I saw a narrow alley, ,Looking down the alley I saw another sign for the Writers Museum, following the sign, down the steps I found myself in Lady Stairs Close with the Writers Museum ahead of me.
Lady Stairs Close opens to a little square, surrounded by historic buildings . I sat for a while with the Writers Museum ahead of me. Looking down to the pavement I saw paving stones with beautiful inscriptions. I was to learn later from the Writers Museum that I had been sitting in Makars' Court, an evolving museum which celebrates the lives and works of Scottish Writers by displaying quotes set in paving stones leading from Lawnmarket and The Mound to the door of the Writers Museum.
The Writers museum is housed in Lady Stairs House, a Category A listed building built in 1622 by Sir William Gray of Pittendrum, an Edinburgh Merchant Burgess. In the 18th Century it was owned by Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Stair. The house was rescued from the threat of housing clearance in 1895 by the 5th Earl of Roseberry. Roseberry renovated the property, then in 1907 gifted the house to the City of Edinburgh to be used as a museum.
The Writers in the museum have no direct connection with the house but they will have all been familiar with the area. Robert Burns lived in neighbouring Baxters Close in 1786,
Entry to the museum is free.
The museum tells the story of the lives of the Writers through a fascinating display of a wide variety of personal objects, such as The Writing Desk belonging to Robert Burns,his riding boots. The printing press used to print Scott's famous Waverley Novels. Stevenson's fishing rod and smoking pipe. There are portraits and even a plaster cast of Robert Burns Skull.. A scale size model of Edinburgh famous Scott monument..
The rare books, first editions, and manuscripts are all carefully displayed and a pleasure to look at..
There is an interesting shop, with a range of goods for sale, such as vintage writing paper sets..
The museum is displayed over two floors, to reach these floors involves climbing up a narrow stone staircase with uneven steps and low ceilings. For anyone with mobility problems this is extremely difficult. There is no wheelchair access.
An interesting museum, in a quiet little area, with free admission makes it a good place to spend some time.