Narrow, dark underground street in Edinburgh
Credit: The Real Mary Kings Close

The Real Mary King’s Close

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The Real Mary King’s Close, 2 Warriston’s Close, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1PG

Beneath the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh City Centre lies an underground network of streets, uninhabited for over 400 years. These old narrow streets, known as Closes and Wynds, used to be busy places of work and homes. Mary King’s Close was one such street named after a prominent businesswoman in the 1630s, who owned several of the properties within it.

Step Back In Time

The close was buried under the Royal Exchange building and closed off to the public for 250 years. During this time, locals spread rumours about the hidden streets. Such as ghost and crime stories, and tales of plague victims that the people boarded up and left to die. When archaeologists re-opened and explored it in the early 2000s, they revealed several shops, houses and artefacts from its 17th century residents.

Now open to the public, you can discover this fascinating place for yourself with a historical tour led by one of the Close’s past residents. Your guide could be Mary King’s daughter Jonet, Agnes the Maid, Stephen the Merchant, Robert the Poet or Walter the Foul Clenger. Each has their own story and unique way of showing visitors around the old narrow streets. Mary King herself also makes an appearance on the tour, telling stories about her life in the interactive Gallery.

The Ghosts of the Close

Hear some of the myths and ghost stories that surround Mary King’s Close, as you visit its darkest creepiest chambers. From the young Chimney Sweep who died there, to the Close’s last resident, Mr Chesney. A little girl named Annie is the Close’s most famous ghost. Visitors often leave toys and money for her in ‘Annie’s Room’, which the attraction donates to a local children’s charity.

Visit The Real Mary King’s Close

Visit the Viator website for tickets and more information.