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A Drama in Time

Local History
Publication Date
10 May 2018
Not Yet Published
Birlinn Ltd
Colour throughout

A Drama in Time

A Guide to 400 Years of Riddle’s Court
by Edward Hollis - Find out more about the author

Riddle’s Court is a unique survival: an A-listed 16th-century courtyard house set behind the Royal Mile close to Edinburgh Castle. Once home to Sir David Hume, over the centuries it has been a merchant’s house, aristocratic apartments, overcrowded tenements, a mechanics’ subscription library, a university hall of residence, emergency post-war housing, a community learning centre and an Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue.

The property contains significant architectural features, including a rare late 16th-century painted beam ceiling, an early 17th-century plaster ceiling and a late 19th-century ceiling by T.K. Bonnar.

This is the story of the long and varied life of this remarkable building, right up to its recent magnificent restoration as the Patrick Geddes Centre for Learning.

Edward Hollis studied Architecture at Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities and practised as an architect in Sri Lanka and Edinburgh. In 1999 he began lecturing in Interior Architecture at Napier University, Edinburgh and in 2004 he moved to Edinburgh College of Art, where he is now Director of Research and Professor of Interior Design. His research focuses on the junction of building re-use, narrative and time. His first book, The Secret Lives of Buildings, was published in 2009; his second, The Memory Palace: A Book of Lost Interiors, in 2013, his third, How To Make a Home, in 2016.