The inscription on the open book comes from Psalm 133: Behold how good a thing it is and how becoming well, Together such as brethren are in unity to dwell. In smaller lettering along the bottom of the pages you can just read: It is an honour for men to cease from strife.
This Canongate tenement house was built in 1677 for the Edinburgh Incorporation of Cordiners or leatherworkers. The inscription below their guild emblem, a shoemaker’s knife under a crown, could well be a commentary on national politics of the time – a relatively peaceful lull after years of civil war. On the other hand it might simply be a reminder to members of the guild to leave their trade disputes at the door.
The architecture of Chessel’s Court, one of the many closes opening off Canongate, suggests a more peaceful era. In fact these elegant tenement buildings date from 1745, the year of the Jacobite rising that ended the following year at the battle of Culloden.
The Canongate forms the lower section of the famous Royal Mile which runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace. There’s a short summary of the street’s thousand year history on the Edinburgh University website here.
This post for Thursday Doors is a brief glimpse of a fascinating street.
(Click on any door to view the gallery)