NT2573 : Buildings in the Old Town

taken 7 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Buildings in the Old Town
Buildings in the Old Town
The south side of Wardrops Court showing the backs of tenements that face the High Street.

"Having occasion the next morning after my arrival to enquire for a person with whom I had some concerns, I was amazed at the length and gibberish of a direction given me where to find him. I was told that I must go down the street and, on the north side, over against such a place, turn down such a 'wynde'; and, on the west side of the wynde, inquire for such a 'launde' (or building), where the gentleman 'stay'd', at the 'thrid [sic] stair', that is, three storeys high. The direction in a language that I hardly understood, and by points of the compass which I then knew nothing of, as they related to the town, put me to a good deal of difficulty." -- Cpt. Edmund Burt, Letters from A Gentleman in the North of Scotland, 1754

Burt's oversight, which he readily admitted afterwards, had been not to employ a caddie (also spelt cadie*) to guide him to the house. As a later English visitor, Edward Topham in 1776, explained,

"It is impossible at Edinburgh to be concealed or unknown, for though you enter into the City a mere traveller, and unacquainted, you cannot be there many hours before you are watched, and your name, and place of abode, found out by the Cadies. These are a Society of men who constantly attend the Cross in the High-Street, and whose office it is to do any thing that any body can want, and discharge any kind of business. On this account it is necessary for them to make themselves acquainted with the residence and negotiation of all the inhabitants; and they are of great utility, as without them it would be very difficult to find any body, on account of the great height of the houses, and the number of families in every building. This Society is under particular regulations, and it requires some interest to become a member of it. It is numerous, and contains persons for every use and employment, who faithfully execute all commands at a very reasonable price. Whether you are in need of a valet de place, a pimp, a thief-catcher, or a bully, your best resource is to the fraternity of Cadies. In short, they are the tutelary guardians of the City, and it is entirely owing to them, that there are fewer robberies, and less house-breaking in Edinburgh, than any where else."

*the likely origin of the name used for a golf-clubs carrier. See LinkExternal link
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NT2573, 5303 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 25 January, 2012   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 31 January, 2012
Geographical Context
Housing, Dwellings  City, Town centre 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2557 7359 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.9733N 3:11.6055W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2555 7361
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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