Man Trips Over Outside ECCI’s New Building – Experts Blame New ‘History of High School Yards’ Poster

Well, not really, but it’s a risk we’re willing to take…

Passers by can now delve into the fascinating and sometimes gruesome history of ECCI’s new building at High School Yards courtesy of the giant at a glance ‘History of High School Yards’ infographics just installed on the building site.

Mary Queen of Scots and Sir Walter Scott share the billing with tales of murder, mystery and…well, the invention of the blackboard.

Take a walk to High School Yards and see it with your own eyes…

And just to whet the appetite…

It started life as Blackfriars Monastery in the 13th century, turning up the murdered body of Mary Queen of Scots’ husband in its ruins 300 hundred years later.

As the 18th century ‘Royal High School’, while Burke and Hare went about their sordid business in the adjacent Surgeon’s Square, it boasted Sir Walter Scott and the inventor of the blackboard James Pillans as its most famous pupils – the former reportedly leaving his mark in the stone entrance archway (pictured).

After the ‘Old High School’ closed in 1829 it became a surgical hospital and later it returned to its roots as a seat of learning as the University of Edinburgh moved through its corridors in various guises with the Science & Engineering, Geography, Dental school and in latter years Archaeology departments all calling it home.

More information:

If you would like to arrange a visit contact


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