Lady Stair’s House

Lady Stairs House

Lady Stair’s House, Edinburgh

The history of Lady Stair’s House

Lady Stair’s House, situated just off the Lawnmarket, is a fine example of 17th-century townhouse architecture. Named after Lady Stair who bought the building around 1719, the building features a striking stone facade with classical detailing. Lady Stair’s House provides a tangible connection to Edinburgh’s architectural and literary heritage, offering visitors a glimpse into the elegant living spaces of the 17th century.

Cultural significance

Lady Stair’s House was gifted to the city for use as a museum in 1907. Today it is home to the Writers’ Museum, a treasure trove of manuscripts, portraits, and personal belongings of some of Scotland’s most celebrated writers, such as Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Why is it important to Edinburgh?

The interior spaces retain period features, including ornate plasterwork and a beautifully carved wooden staircase.

Key events

In 1890 Patrick Geddes intervened when the building had become dilapidated, persuading Lord Rosebery to pay for its restoration.

Additional information

Lady Stair’s House was built in 1622 by Sir William Gray of Pittendrum, a very successful city merchant.
Lady Stair’s House’s association with Scotland’s literary greats and its role as the home of the Writers’ Museum make it a unique destination for booklovers and history enthusiasts alike.
Lady Stair’s House is located just off the Lawnmarket, in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town.

↪ Find on Google Maps

You can help protect the UNESCO World Heritage Site by joining Edinburgh World Heritage, by donating to us directly, or by attending one of our events.

For more information about how to support us, please use the links below.

If you would like to know more about the topic above, please contact us directly.