Please note, the Real Mary King’s Close is closed until further notice. Click here for more information.
Your experience at The Real Mary King’s Close will be brought to life by one of our costumed character tour guides. Based on a one time resident of the Close, our guides will regale you with fascinating tales of plague, pestilence, murder and intrigue.
Meet Agnes. A maid in the household of prominent merchant burgess Alexander Cant. It’s 1535, there’s a tale of murder on Craig’s Close… things are about to take a dramatic turn.
Occupation: Maid to the Cant Family.
Likes: Polishing her master’s Quaich collection, and returning home at the end of a long day.
Dislikes: 7am in the morning and 10pm at night. The time for gardyloo!
Meet Robert. A well-known poet, and the literary inspiration to Robert Burns. It’s 1771 and the notorious ‘Cape Club’ is in full swing. It’s only a matter of time before tragedy strikes.
Occupation: Literary genius.
Likes: Debating important matters, and visiting the Royal Exchange Coffee House on Craig’s Close.
Dislikes: A shortage of ale, and bad punctuation.
Meet Walter. An unsung hero of the deadly 1645 plague epidemic. Putting his life at risk to help clear the homes of those affected. Can you spot his distinctive uniform featuring the Cross of St Andrew?
Occupation: Head of Edinburgh’s Foul Clengers.
Likes: The smell of burning, being respected, and cleansing the air.
Dislikes: Corpses, and rats.
Meet John. A renowned physician, and the first official to treat plague victims. Joannes Paulitius worked for the city council, and was a pioneer of emerging medical sciences in Edinburgh.
Occupation: Plague Doctor
Likes: Being rewarded handsomely for the work he does.
Dislikes: The proliferation of disease.