One of the most remarkable things about Scotland is its wealth of free museums. I enjoyed them so much but the Georgian House (which isn’t free but very worthwhile) was my favorite in Edinburgh itself.
Located in Charlotte Square, the premiere place to live in New Town Edinburgh in the 18th-century/Georgian era, it’s been meticulously restored and opened to the public.
My hotel was just down the street in another Georgian building only my room wasn’t quite as elegant as the photos below!
This house was first occupied in 1796 by a Scottish laird and his family, including some very marriageable daughters. No 7 Charlotte Square was acquired for 1,800 pounds sterling by John Lamont, of Lamont in Argyllshire, 18th chief of Clan Lamont.
No photographs are permitted of the interior of the house so I had to rely on these from the National Trust for Scotland. The house is actually comprised of 5 floors and the rooms are all stunning, full of furnishings from the last quarter of the 18th-century.
In the dining room are large windows overlooking Charlotte Square. Meals were served not in courses but all at once, every dish on the table. The Scottish sideboard against the left wall has a thistle pattern down to the brass knobs. If you look closely you can spy a pewter chamberpot therein for the gentlemen to use when the ladies had withdrawn after dinner. And you thought those ladies were simply leaving the men to their spirits and smoking!
This is actually the ground floor bedchamber next to the dining room. It seems to have been a custom for the bedchamber to be on the ground floor overlooking the garden behind the house. The bed, hidden here, is huge with a yellow floral quilted counterpane. A charming feature is the little pockets above the pillows for watches.
Here we have yet another Sunderland lustre chamber pot in the bedchamber with a ribald little verse that gives a wee glimpse of how earthy and passionate the 18th-century was compared to the very prudish Victorian era!
The basement kitchen is really a work of art! So many copper pots and pans and the most enormous fireplace left me feeling sorry for the cooks and scullery maids. Yet this was a state of the art kitchen at the time. The walls were painted blue which was a traditional color for kitchens to keep the flies away.
Do you have any favorite historic houses on your list? Or in your neck of the woods?
If so, I’d love to hear about them…