If taking a walk down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, you may stumble upon the oldest house in this street. This was once the home of John Knox, an influential figure in the history of the reformation of Scotland during the 16th century. Knox was born in 1505 in Haddington, a town that lies just outside the city of Edinburgh. Although he was ordained as a priest into the Roman Catholic church, he soon began to lose his faith and drift towards views of Presbyterianism. At that time, Scotland was a country with strong Roman Catholic leanings but during the 1500s many were starting to doubt their faith and the period of religious reformation began. Knox was one of the many. A strong orator, Knox voiced his views of religious reform across Edinburgh and Scotland and influenced a great number of people. He himself was a follower of another of Scotland’s famous reformers, John Calvin.
Knox regularly preached in St Giles Cathedral in the centre of the Royal Mile. This monument soon became the centre of the protestant religion in Scotland. His stay in the old house on the Royal Mile was short (due to….) but it is thought that he may also have died here in 1572 during the last few days of the siege of Edinburgh Castle. The building which was constructed in the 1500’s still stands and is now a museum that celebrates the life of Knox and the history of religious reformation in Scotland. (It is) An interesting museum for those looking to learn more about the history of Edinburgh and the people that shaped the capital as it stands today.
Opening hours of the museum are Monday – Saturday, 10am until 6pm and Sundays from 12pm until 6pm during July and August only. Admission is £3.50 for adults, £3 concession and £1 for children.
Team Edinburgh September 2009