Canongate

Beyond the crossroads, the Royal Mile continues down the Canongate, meaning literally “the canons’ way” when it was used in former times by the Augustinian canons of Holyrood Abbey.

The street continues downhill past Moray House (now the main academic offices of the Edinburgh University), the old Canongate Tolbooth (now a museum of social history called The People’s Story), the Kirk of the Canongate and the new Scottish Parliament Building to Holyrood Palace and the ruined abbey

Until 1856 the Canongate was not merely a street, but the name of the surrounding burgh, separate from Edinburgh and outside the Flodden Wall.

Abbey Strand

This street is the short approach to Holyrood Palace at the foot of the Canongate. One of the buildings on the north side was the house of Lucky Spence, a notorious brothel madam, remembered in Allan Ramsay’s poem, Lucky Spence’s Last Advice. On the south side is the Queen’s Gallery, used to exhibit items in the Royal collection, in the shell of the former Holyrood Free Church and Duchess of Gordon’s School. There are also the remains of the gatehouse of Holyrood Palace built by James IV, with a copy of the royal coat-of-arms of James V set in the wall.