John Knox House

Orientation & Geography

Europe, United Kingdom, City of Edinburgh

The John Knox House is an historic house in Edinburgh, Scotland, reputed to have been owned and lived in by Protestant Reformer John Knox during the 16th century, but known not to have been (Knox's house was on Warriston Close, where a plaque correctly marks the site). The house itself was built from 1490 onwards, featuring a fine wooden gallery and hand-painted ceiling. It belonged to the Mossman family, Edinburgh goldsmiths who refashioned the crown of Scotland for James V. Over the next few centuries many decorations and paintings were added, and the house and its contents are now a museum. The building is owned by the Church of Scotland and is now administered as part of the new, adjacent Scottish Storytelling Centre. It has only been known as "John Knox's House" since the mid-19th century, at which time Victorian romantics sought to find sites of historic occurrences. This house looked old enough, but no research was done at the time to establish the rights or wrongs of the claim. The house was owned by a prominent Catholic at the time of Knox. It is unlikely he ever visited the house, but he would have been familiar with it.