Sitting just off the High Street, connecting it to the bottom of Cockburn Street, sits Advocates Close, one to the Old Town’s most historic and – curiously – most modern closes. It’s hard to put a date on when it was first built, because the buildings were virtually all built at different times, but with parts dating back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, ‘old’ is somewhat of an understatement.
Conversely though, Advocates Close is also surprisingly modern, having had a facelift which started in 2009 and is reputed to have cost somewhere in the region of £45 million. In decline for touching on 200 years, the development – although somewhat controversial (as all developments in central Edinburgh are) – has seen the building of a 200+ room hotel, luxury holiday apartments, office space and – perhaps most deliciously – the delectable Devils Advocate, a wine, whisky and cocktail bar conceived by the people who made the Bon Vivant such a favourite Edinburgh haunt.
Our photo is off the old sign hanging above the apartments, but is probably not the view that you usually see. Ever seen a photo of the Scott Monument taken through an old stone archway? Well, chances are the archway in question was the top of Advocate’s Close.